Conan the Barbarian: discover behind the scenes of a famous cut scene from the film – Actus Ciné

Just 40 years ago “Conan the Barbarian” came out; THE film that introduced the Heroic Fantasy to the general public. In 2013, we met Max Von Sydow, alias King Osric, who told us behind the scenes of a famous deleted scene.

Universal Pictures

Just 40 years ago (already…), on April 7, 1982, the fabulous Conan the Barbarian by John Milius was released on our screens. Let’s not cut corners: it’s THE film that made Heroic Fantasy known to the general public (and even, if we want to be even more specific, the Sword & Sorcery sub-genre). And what a movie! 40 years later, the observation is still the same: Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to have been born to embody the man who, one day, “will become king with his own hands”.

None other than John Milius was able to capture with such acuity the essence and the soul of the universe of the character created by Robert E. Howard, even if the filmmaker projected on our favorite Arnie a very personal vision of the myth of the superman.

Charitably ignoring the insipid 2011 version, it’s all there in Milius’ masterpiece: the violence and cruelty of the universe; the quality of the interpretation, starting with an absolutely brilliant James Earl Jones; a mythical soundtrack by Basil Poledouris, which notably gives one of the most fabulous film openings; a fantastic sense of rhythm and epic… In short, a marvel.

In 2013, we had the honor of having a long interview with the immense actor Max Von Sydow. In more than 60 years of career and more than 160 roles on the clock, Max Von Sydow had become a part of the History of the 7th Art all by himself. Favorite actor of the legendary Ingmar Bergman, he had toured with the greatest: John Huston, Ridley Scott, Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, Spielberg, William Friedkin… And John Milius. In Conan the Barbarianhe camps a brilliant king Osric, whom Conan comes to meet.

He told us a tasty anecdote about his character; in this case behind the scenes of a scene that will finally be cut during editing, because it didn’t work, technically speaking.

“King Osric, a very funny character to play, even if he has a small role. I obviously have in mind the scene where Conan comes to him, with his two acolytes, thinking that something bad is going to happen to them , when in fact I welcome them with open arms!

I don’t know why John Milius cut my scene where I’m murdered. Milius was very fond of weapons, especially swords. In this scene, it’s my guards who are killing me, and Milius didn’t want them to just slash me, but to be stabbed right through, even cut in half!” he told us.

“So they prepared fake blood bags for me all over my body. The problem was that it didn’t work, the hemoglobin jets were too weak. So I had to iron a new suit with new bags of blood, and the scene is reversed. Same problem as before!

We did I don’t know how many takes, changing costumes each time. And there, we literally had fountains of blood that left, like a geyser. So we went from “too little” to “too much”, not credible at all. We couldn’t find the happy medium; I think that’s why the scene does not appear in the editing shown in theaters”.