Archive for the ‘1982’ Category

conanThe granddaddy of all Arnie films.  This is where the magic began.  It’s hard to believe that this little action movie in 1982 would have created the greatest action movie hero all time and probably the greatest living naturalized American.  I watched this movie when I was a teen and I wanted to be muscle bound like Arnold.  Alas my love of jelly beans and candy corn did me in.  But that didn’t mean I didn’t dream.  Oh I dreamed all right.  Dreamed big.

               As a young boy, Conan, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (End of Days,) witnesses the murder of his parents and entire village at the hands of Thulsa Doom, played by James Earl Jones (Star Wars,) and his band of warriors.  As an adult Conan and his band of adventurers were hired by King Osric, played by Max von Sydow (The Exorcist,) to find and rescue his daughter from the snake cult.  This snake cult is led by Thulsa Doom so Conan goes out to capture the princess and get revenge for his family.

               One of the first things I remembered about the film that people talked about was the fact that Arnold didn’t have a lot of dialogue in the movie, especially for the lead of a movie.  It was counted that he had only spoke 700 words in the movie.  I have some friends who said that was still too much but they have no clue about the greatness of Arnold.  One of the interesting things about this script is that one of the writers on it is non-other than Academy Award winner Oliver Stone.  He and director John Milius made a very good action movie with a decent story as Conan is actually based on the comic book.  There is a line in the film that is often quoted, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and here the lamentation of the women.”  Pure poetry.

It’s pretty surprising to me that both Max von Sydow and James Earl Jones were in the movie.  Jones was a household name by this time in early 80’s not only because of his Academy Award nomination for a movie called The Great White Hope, but most people knew him as the voice of Darth Vador.  Sydow had been nominated for a Golden Globe for The Exorcist so he too had been a prominent actor.  This movie even won a Golden Globe award for best newcomer for an actress by Sandahl Bergman (All That Jazz.)  For what is known as a cheesy action movie there are a lot of quality actors in the film. 

The action is, of course, what makes this film and there are lots of good scenes.  The action is quick and fast paced but one thing I do like is that there is no gratuitous violence in the film.  There is lots of violence in the film and lots of blood, but I feel that it wasn’t unnecessary.   From the beginning the violence was used to drive the characters or the story so I didn’t think it was over the top.  The two action scenes that stand out for me is the fight in the orgy room and the one on the hill.  The movie has some wonderful music in that makes the fight scenes that much better.  That and the sword fights between Arnold and the henchman were fun because almost all of the henchmen where friends of his from his body building days. 

A funny thing about this film is that Arnold portrays a character that shows him hooking up with three women in the film.  I only mention it because it because I have seen all but maybe 4 of his movies and I can’t remember him hooking up in any of the other films.  I just find it humorous that his action films are really void of females after his first one.  It’s as if to say that we should avoid all talk of women while we enjoy or action films.  Heck even in this film one of the ladies he has sex with ends up being a demon of some kind trying to kill him.  So women are bad!

This movie won my heart as a child and many children my age.  This movie created a permanent movie going audience that Arnold would have for 20 years before he became the Governor of California.  When he came back to acting he is older and action movies are harder for him, but his fans, like me will always be loyal.

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