Conan the Barbarian
, the movie that turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into a global superstar, is a prime example of a match made in heaven. It's the movie that macho maverick writer-director John Milius was born to make, and Arnold was genetically engineered for his role as the muscle-bound, angst-ridden hero created in Robert E. Howard's pulp novels. Oliver Stone contributed to Milius's screenplay, and the production design by comic artist Ron Cobb represents a perfect cinematic realization of Howard's fantasy world. To avenge the murder of his parents, Conan tracks down the evil Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) with the help of Queen Valeria (played by buff B-movie vixen Sandahl Bergman) and Subotai the Mongol (Gerry Lopez). Aptly described by critic Roger Ebert as "the perfect fantasy for the alienated pre-adolescent," this blockbuster is just as enjoyable for adults who haven't lost their youthful imagination. --Jeff Shannon
Following his parents' savage murder, young Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is captured by the cold-blooded Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and spends the next fifteen years in agony, first chained to the Wheel of Pain and then enslaved as a Pit Fighter. Rather than allowing this brutal fate to conquer him, Conan builds an incomparable body and an indomitable spirit-both of which he needs when he suddenly finds himself a free man. Aided by his companions Subotai the Mongol (Gerry Lopez) and Valeria, Queen of Thieves (Sandahl Bergman), Conan sets out to solve the "riddle of steel," seize ultimate power and, finally, take revenge on the warlord who killed his family.