Conan the Barbarian (1982)
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This was such a quiet film! The lack of dialogue adds so much (lack of talent aside...)
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Conan the Barbarian, the original, was heavy-going for me. The DVD print shows its age, with desaturated colors, and it indulges in S&S fiction's worst sin (for me) - an episodic structure that undermines narrative drive. I don't care for it much in novels, and it certainly doesn't work for me in films. I do like a great many things about it however. For example, I could have watched an entire movie about Conan's dad, and James Earl Jones is awesome as the snaky avatar of Set. Director John Milius is adept at filling the screen with details you might only get on a second viewing, introducing black comedy and visual verve to the proceedings. Perhaps it's Arnold I have trouble with. He's got his moments, but we're well into the second hour by the time I care for his Cimmerian. As if the film knows he's an awkward speaker, it plays almost as a silent movie, with a huge operatic score over a lot of sequences (but a good operatic score). By the end, it had grown on me, but tighter editing might have saved the first hour.
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In 3 official lists
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This movie ranks #35 in Butler's Fantasy Cinema: Impossible Worlds on Screen
This movie ranks #57 in Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z
This movie ranks #183 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies