Marvelous Movies of Yukito's room

Marvelous Movies

No. 5

Conan the Barbarian

1981 USA Directed by John Milius
Screenplay by John Milius, Oliver Stone
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

There are many marvelous movies in the world.
Some of them have full of tasty parts, but there is another kind of movies that shine with just one line or just one scene.
For me, Conan the Barbarian is a good example of the latter kind of movies.

The movie is set during a dark age after Atlantis sank beneath the sea.
At the beginning, young Conan are told the myth about the origin of steel by his father, the master sword maker.
Giants fooled the Earth's god Crom and took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered and started a convulsion of nature to strike down the giants.
Steel was forgotten and left on the battlefield. And small ordinary men found it.
Conan's father says. "You can't trust men, women or beasts. Only you can trust is this steel."

Then, Conan's village is invaded by the horseriding army corps carrying battle standard of two snakes and is ruined. His parents are also slaughtered.
Sold into slavery, Conan grows up to be a sinewy man, and eventually is set free. He succeeds in taking a huge jewel from the cult's temple in the city of Shadizar with his companion thieves, an archer Subotai and a female sworder Valeria who becomes Conan's lover.
However, they are merry with a success and inattentive to be captured.
King Osric asks Conan partisans to recapture his daughter who became a heretical believer, as a bargaining point to discharge their crime of their theft.
"There comes a time, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison. And all that is left is a father's love for his child."

Conan sees the crest in the cult's temple and gets to know that the cult's originator Thulsa is the very enemy that he has been pursuing to revenge his parents and his clan. Though opposed by his companions, he alone infiltrates into the cult's headquarters "Mountain of Power".
Conan asks Thulsa, who is expressionless and looks kind of peaceful, "Did you solve the riddle of steel?" Tulsa shows off his influence with a voice that let a female believer throw herself to suicide and says, "This is power of flesh. The flesh that wields it is stronger than the sword of steel."

Though Conan recaptured the princess successfully with the friends who returned, the cost was the death of Valeria.
Conan pitches a camp at megalith ruins and meets a cult's horseriding corps with Subotai.
Before the battle, Conan speaks to his deity Crom.
"Crom...l have never prayed to you before. l have no tongue for it... All that matters is that two stood against many. That's what's important. Valor pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to hell with you".

This is the most favorite scene in this movie for me.
Conan has both simplicity in believing Crom and arrogance so that he never be mean even in the time of praying to his deity.
The words express Conan's character well.
Anyone who was born as a man would like to say such words once at least.

Though it was made in the time there's no digital SFX and occasional SFX scenes are kind of artless, the gorgeous images were created with the costly set. On the whole, there were few words and well-controlled directing created the profound mature atmosphere.
The theme music by Basil Poledouris is an excellent piece, too. Many people in Japan probably have heard the theme because in the kickboxing event K-1, Jerome Le Banner used the music while entering the arena.

The sequel was made but is like a kidvid, without a hint of profound atmospheres, so it isn't worth watching.