15 Fun Facts About CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian is one of those rare 1980s movie gems that just kicked a ridiculous amount of ass. Fantasy films weren't as popular back then as they are now, and the fact that they went all-out for a violent R-rated action film is awesome. If they made that movie today, the studio would want it to be cut down to a PG-13 rating, which is kind of sad. I freakin’ love this movie, and one day hopefully we get that Legend of Conan sequel. The last thing I heard was that it would start shooting this year, and I hope that’s still the plan! While we wait for an update, I've put together a list of 15 Fun Facts for Conan the Barbarian that you might not know. Enjoy!
- Schwarzenegger had to cut down on his workout routine because his arm and chest muscles were so big that he couldn't wield a sword properly.
- In preparation for the role, Schwarzenegger had weapons training, martial arts training, and horse riding lessons. He trained with an 11-pound broadsword two hours a day for three months. Each broadsword used in the movie cost $10,000 and had to look weathered. He also learned climbing techniques, and how to fall and roll and jump from at least 15 feet in the air.
- Schwarzenegger and Sandahl Bergman did their own stunts in the film, as they couldn’t find suitable body doubles for them.
- The runes on Conan's father's sword are translated as; "Suffer no guilt, ye who wield this in the name of Crom."
- Conan's response to the Mongol General's question, "What is best in life?" are the very first lines of dialog he speaks in the film after a full twenty minutes into the movie. His reply to the question was, “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.” Then even though Conan and Valeria are shown together frequently throughout the film, he only says five words to her in the entire film. Thirty seconds after they meet he says "You're not a guard", and "No".
- Oliver Stone wrote the initial script for the film. He set the story in the future after the downfall of civilization, and it was going to be a four hour saga that included bunch of creatures. It would have cost the studio 70 million dollars to make, so they didn't move forward with his vision. John Milius came on board to direct and ended up rewriting much of Stone's script. The future setting was thankfully abandoned and the original timeline was restored.
- Schwarzenegger suffered a back injury while filming when the dogs who were chasing him jumped him from behind and he fell down the rock he was climbing to escape them. Apparently the dogs used in the movie were very dangerous. Milius said, "When you had the dogs chasing Arnold Schwarzenegger and he's running, he's actually running for his life because he knew those dogs were very dangerous and they even attacked their trainer." Here’s a hilarious behind the scenes clip of him being attacked.
- A few scenes in the film were dedicated to legendary artist Frank Frazetta and based on his artwork. Those scenes include the orgy chamber, Thulsa Doom turning into a snake, a girl chained to a pillar, and the climactic fight scene.
- According to the original script, the tomb where Conan gets his sword was from the lost city of Atlantis.
- Sandahl Bergman says she had the tip of one finger cut off while shooting a swordfight for the picture.
- Some of the stuntmen took too long to die and had to be paid extra just to lie down and stay down.
- Milius originally wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger to be the narrator of the story. But executives at Universal had problems with that because of his accent. So instead, Mako was the narrator.
- Charles Bronson, Sylvester Stallone, and William Smith were considered for the lead role.
- At one point Conan had to throw a torch into the palace's central window/balcony. Schwarzenegger missed on the first attempt, but they weren't able to do a retake as the set burned to the ground.
- Schwarzenegger said that during the crucifixion scene, they used a live vulture to peck at his wounds. Then for the close up they used a real dead vulture they found for him to actually bite into its throat. After they cut, they immediately had Arnold rinse his mouth out to avoid disease.
Here's the original trailer for the film:
Thanks to IMDB for the info.