Conan the Barbarian (1982), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by John Milius, is one of my all time favorite action movies. Phenomenal soundtrack, great villain, better-than-expected dialog, and a great finale. Notice how many times I said great. Many do not know that Conan the Barbarian was not everything it could have been if there had been no MPAA and studio interference. There was much more depth, character moments, battles, and blood in the raw, work-print version of the film. Below you will find information and pictures from that sought-after version Conan the Barbarian. And before anyone says anything, I know the above picture is from Conan the Destroyer and not Conan the Barbarian.
Rick Henriques aka CromIsGod gave this report to TheArnoldFans:
Unfortunately for John (and us fans) not only the ratings bureau, but also the studio got involved and many of the scenes in John’s vision were left on the cutting room floor.
Through many of my readings and intense study of this movie I have come up with a list of scenes that were actually filmed and left out of the final production. There were many others that were trimmed down because of gore and excessive violence, but the ones I have listed were outright deletions from the movie. Some of them I had certainly heard of before, but some others were quite the surprise to read:
• Young Conan & The Master scale a large mountain or cliff face to reach their summit where The Master tells Conan of “The Riddle of Steel”.
• The decapitation of Conan’s mother was completely redone. The scene was initially two scenes. One of which was shot from the back in which this gigantic splatter of blood gets everywhere. The other shot was of a working mechanical head lying on a bank of snow going into the death twitches and spasms.
• The War Yurt scenes where Conan sits chained to a turn-style table and young warriors come to get his advice and wisdom.
• Conan fights a woman pitfighter (played by John Milius’ secretary, Sarolo) in which after a first battle Conan cuts off her head and holds it up for the entire crowd to see.
• A pickpocket tries to steal something from Conan in Shadizar and Conan promptly cuts off his arm.
• John Milius plays a barker selling “Lizard on a Stick” to Conan and Subotai in Zamora.
• Conan and Subotai sit on a mountaintop, with Shadizar in the distant background, and decide to break into the Tower of the Serpent to steal the jewels.
• Conan & Subotai sneak through a garden and jump over a wall to get to the base of the Tower of the Serpent.
• Subotai fights the Beast with Three Eyes when he first gets on top of the Tower of the Serpent. In that same scene Valeria finds a tile in the wall of the tower encrusted with jewels and pries it out to keep for herself.
• In the scene where Thulsa Doom explains the Riddle of Steel to Conan, Rexor and Thorgrim beat Conan so senseless and so bloody that it had to be cut for the graphic violence.
• When Subotai arrives at the Tree of Woe to save Conan he picks up the dead vulture and tells Conan that he is hungry and intends to EAT it. Conan asks him to “eat it behind me so that I cannot watch”.
• Also in the scene where Doom explains the Riddle of Steel to Conan, Doom not only orders a girl to jump from a high perch, but also orders a follower to stab himself to death and he does.
• As seen in the Collectors Edition DVD, King Osric’s own men assassinate him by running him through with swords.
• In the battle of the mounds Conan picks up a dropped spear and hurls it right through a riding horseman.
• Conan approaches the princess as she is chained to the altar in the battle of the mounds scene. She is defiant as he speaks to her and he grabs her by her face as he tells her she will be returned to her father (Conan doesn’t know he was killed already which was also deleted). Now again I believe that there were many other scenes that Milius wanted to be filmed. Of those, I don’t know if they were. I know at least all of these scenes were initially filmed and were supposed to be in the final movie.
I read your story on thearnoldfans.com about the deleted scenes. There was one you didn’t list. At the orgy scene, right when Conan runs up the stairs, he’s so enraged, he cuts down a woman wearing a helmet w/ his sword.
On the DVD, if you play the scene in slow motion, you see the top of her helmet as she collapses before he kills the first guy. I saw one more deleted scene picture years ago when I grabbed these. It was of the head shot of the three-eyed monster Subotai fights on top of the snake tower. It was not a particular interesting shot, nothing was happening during it, but I wish I had it so that you could see the creatures’ design.
Other rumored scenes, unconfirmed, include: Valeria pitfighting in arena, Conan returns to his village, Arnold fights in the forrest with Thulsa Doom’s warriors
If anyone out there has more deleted scene photos or better yet, actual footage of them, please use the contact tab above and drop us a line.
What do you think of Conan the Barbarian and its deleted scenes?