Submitted by Herne8 t3_ye9te7 in movies

I'm sitting here watching The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) and it strikes me that Conan really isn't especially better than this or any other similar movies of the time (Beastmaster, Deathstalker and The Warrior and the Sorceress to name just a few).

None are particularly good in terms of acting, writing or effects, and some even outdo Conan in certain aspects, which begs the question: is Conan only so memorable because it's a Schwarzenegger film? If he hadn't gone on to do Terminator and Predator and had just faded into obscure TV appearances, would Conan have been forgotten just like all of the other 80s sword and sorcery flicks?

What are your thoughts?



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roto_disc t1_itwt06f wrote



Herne8 OP t1_itwt3od wrote

Why? Other than Schwarzenegger, what makes it stand out from the rest?


efs120 t1_itwtts5 wrote

Because Conan was a very popular pulp character already. I think it would be less popular in your hypothetical, but there would still be a vocal fanbase for the movie given how important the character has been to so many people.


Syn7axError t1_itx15st wrote

If Conan doesn't feel original, it's because everyone else ripped it off. The books were groundbreaking.


Herne8 OP t1_itx20j4 wrote

Yes, I've read the books, but I'm talking about the movie.


Syn7axError t1_itx855l wrote

Well, yes. That's what happens when you adapt the one that started it all. It feels unoriginal compared to all the knock-offs. I saw similar complaints about the Northman this year.

But I also think it makes for a better movie. Conan is so much more well-rounded and better-written than anyone imitating him, because he was created as an actual character. The rest are one note clichés.


DrRexMorman t1_itxlmks wrote

All the movies you mentioned also ripped off Conan the barbarian.

Also, Conan was the role that made Arnold a star.


Myrskyharakka t1_itwuef5 wrote

Well it did have James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow and John Milius directing&writing, so it's not just Schwarzenegger.


meowskywalker t1_itwvo3e wrote

It got a sequel before Terminator happened. People loved Conan even before Schwarzenegger became a very long and difficult to spell household name.


EvilNuff t1_itwwvvs wrote

I have to disagree pretty strongly about Conan vs sword and the sorcerer. S&s has much worse acting dialog and effects. And Conan is pretty damn good quality for that time.


Double-hokuto t1_ity1cl2 wrote

Conan has an epic storyline, fantastic moody vibes, weird set pieces that all seem distinct to the point of almost belonging in separate movies yet fit together so well. There’s emotion, love and dread. Imo it stands up today as an epic in the Kurosawa vein, the height of swords and sorcery movies.


Herne8 OP t1_itx1psb wrote

Dunno, credits are rolling on SatS as I type this and I think I might actually like it more. There were a lot of badass moments in it that I know will stick in my memory. The effects are definitely not great, but I wouldn't say any worse than Conan's. Both are limited by their budgets and era. The sets and costumes also seem more elaborate to me.

It's definitely one that I can see myself rewatching from time to time.


EvilNuff t1_itzg03a wrote

Conan had an orchestral score based on Carmina Burana by Orf. Conan intentionally minimized the dialog in a manner that worked, this allowed the actors to play to their physical strengths as opposed to looking/sounding out of place. I think that decision is very underrated. Ignoring Arnold Conan also had James Earl Jones and Max von Sydow. Writing credits by Robert E Howard for the character, John Milius, and Oliver Stone.

Compare that to SatS, which had a gimicky 3 bladed sword where you could see the string as it shot the outer blades (how that isn't worse than anything in Conan I don't know). I legit don't know what score it had. Very cheesy dialog. Richard Lynch and Richard Moll I think are the biggest names in the cast. Writing credits by 3 people I've never heard of who, according to IMDB, have a total of 1, 1 and 25 writing credits to their names.

So while you absolutely can and should enjoy whichever one you like more, saying/implying that Conan's popularity is a factor of Arnold's success is just silly.


Herne8 OP t1_itzo5q5 wrote

I wasn't saying it was, I was asking for opinions on it.


EvilNuff t1_itztc3q wrote

Oh, then sorry my bad in misinterpreting your question! And I guess I already shared my opinion. :)

In my opinion I can (and do!) still watch Conan to this day and enjoy it greatly. SatS I enjoyed as a kid but as an adult its pretty hard for me to watch.


1clovett t1_itwttdc wrote

Bite your tongue! He did a marvelous job playing Conan, it's a good story and tge supporting actors were good as well. Who could have replaced Arnold?


Herne8 OP t1_itwugcx wrote

The Warrior and the Sorceress is far better in terms of story than Conan is, if not in terms of acting and effects.


Mormegil1971 t1_itwu3sc wrote

Don’t think so. Conan was an established character in books and comics long before the movies. The others were not, at least that I know of.


efs120 t1_itwuaw1 wrote

Beastmaster was, but far less popular than Conan. Not sure about the other two.


farmerarmor t1_itxf0q0 wrote

Conan is way better than beastmaster and s&s


Herne8 OP t1_itxfgb2 wrote

Beastmaster? Yes. S&S? Close, but not for me.


peestew69 t1_itx3jls wrote

The only memory I have of this movie is my Dad cracking up at Arnie fucking a witch and then throwing her into a fire when she turns into a demon mid-coitus.


Herne8 OP t1_itx3nej wrote

Ha. Yeah, that was a good bit.


PecanPizzaPie t1_itwyhdf wrote

The Conan character by Robert E. Howard was pretty popular in pulp literature for decades so when a movie adaptation with a fairly well known cast was made, it became an instant classic, especially since Schwarzenegger had such a comprable body type and his lack of emotion on screen fit the character from literature.


dinkelidunkelidoja t1_itzl0td wrote

Conan is on a whole other level than the other fantasy movies of that era in all aspects from writing, direction, production, acting, music score. I recently watched The Warrior and the Sorceress and that is a really bad low rent Yojimbo copy in every way, from Carradine to whatever that sock puppet was suppose to be.


1MoreRedNightmare t1_itwu5qf wrote

You mean if Sandahl Bergman wasn't in it??? Yeah, because it was a well done story with everything you wanted as a kid in a sword n sorcery movie.


Mormegil1971 t1_itwv2ai wrote

Don’t think so. Conan was an established character in books and comics long before the movies. The others were not, at least that I know of.


girafa t1_itwwdfq wrote

I'd say Conan is pretty well written, it did some really unique things. Most of the parts I remember don't involve Arnold.


Nocta_Venandi t1_itxl39n wrote

The Sword and the Sorcerer is a great flick. Just watched it the other day myself.


DrRexMorman t1_itxljdt wrote

>really isn't especially better

Conan the barbarian is better than all the films you mentioned - Conan the destroyer, on the other hand, was not.


[deleted] t1_iu0ctaz wrote

Conan the Barbarian is one of my favorite Movies of all time. I consider myself a movie buff with arthouse sensibilities and you just can’t deny the power this movie has. Especially watching it back to back with Conan the Destroyer or Red Sonja will show you it’s stregths. And one of the many pillars is Arnies physical acting. So my take is: yes the movie would have been extraordinary anyways, but Arnie supercharges it.


Ronaldo_Frumpalini t1_iu0p8tm wrote

Getting sick of these intentionally terrible takes to stir the pot.


Herne8 OP t1_iu0v3tz wrote

Excuse me?


Ronaldo_Frumpalini t1_iu1i0eh wrote

Was there excessive violence in Mad Max: Fury Road? Please, discuss.


Herne8 OP t1_iu3ommj wrote

Sorry, I don't get your meaning at all. What about my thread is "stirring the pot?" This is a discussion forum. I am inviting discussion. If you don't want to be a part of that discussion, no one is forcing you to be.


Ronaldo_Frumpalini t1_iu5dpou wrote

The number one comment is a single word of disagreement. Not exactly an enriching discussion when you can't find a single person who agrees with your stated position.


Herne8 OP t1_iu5er32 wrote

Dude, I don't know what your problem is. Maybe you have a lot going on in your life right now, maybe you're on medication which affects your perception. Whatever. Have a nice evening.


Due0Covid21 t1_iu0xbd8 wrote


I remember Conan the barbarian as a cartoon.

Jenna and Conan pairing.


CromulentPoint t1_iu1hcvq wrote

Yes, because Arnie punches out a camel.