Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 action-adventure fantasy film by director John Milius and is recognized as the acting breakthrough of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had previously been a famous bodybuilder. The film is loosely based on the Conan the Barbarian stories by Robert E. Howard and was written by Oliver Stone and John Milius, set in the mythical Hyborian Age. It was followed in 1984 by a lighter, but less successful sequel, Conan the Destroyer.
Both Conan the Barbarian and its sequel are sword and sorcery epic tales that include magic, mythical creatures, and fantastical events. The score for Conan the Barbarian was composed by Basil Poledouris.
Universal has released the film in several different versions. The original theatrical cut ran at 129 minutes. For its video release, the studio offered the theatrical version as well as two shortened prints; one at 115 minutes, the other at 123 minutes. The theatrical cut was utilized for the film’s first DVD release in 1998. In 2000 Universal released a collector’s edition DVD. In addition to numerous special features, the version contained on this disc features an additional two minutes of footage, for a slightly extended 131-minute running time. This new cut is the only version currently available; all others are out of print.