Conan the Barbarian


It’s easy for some people to laugh at Conan the Barbarian, John Milius’s 1982 film about Robert E. Howard’s most famous creation: it seems like the cinematic equivalent of middle-schoolers playing Dungeons and Dragons. But this is an honest (as in “unpretentious”) film with ideas: the pagan existentialism of Thulsa Doom, the theology of Subatai, and the difference between soldiers and warriors are all offered for the viewer’s consideration. It’s also oddly countercultural and conservative in its point of view. Join Dan and Tim for an appreciation of a wildly entertaining film that launched the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger and features one of the greatest movie soundtracks. We know the poetry of Khitai and the philosophy of Sung—so give it a listen!

Interested in reading the source material? Check out Robert E. Howard’s The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, the first collection of Conan stories Howard wrote in the 1930s for Weird Tales magazine. You may also want to check out Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story to hear Arnold talk of how much he and James Earl Jones enjoyed working with each other.

Follow us on X or Letterboxd. Incredible bumper music by John Deley.

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