About A few words about…™ – Conan the Barbarian & Conan the Destroyer — in 4k UHD

Conan the Barbarian & Conan the Destroyer 4K Review

[SIZE=5][FONT=times new roman]In 1982 and 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger played the titular role in the first two Conan films, fantasy adventures based upon short stories and novels written by Robert E. Howard in the 1930s. Mr. Howard also created Red Sonja.

The films were De Laurentiis productions distributed by Universal, and for their budgets had an impressive size and scope. That noted they not for everyone, and I count myself among that group.

That aside, their productions values, casting and production design helped attain a very impressive world-wide gross.

The first film was directed by John Milius , from a screenplay by he and Oliver Stone. It was photographed by Duke Callaghan, whose work you’ll know from Jeremiah Johnson.

The second was directed by Richard Fleischer, and photographed by Jack Cardiff.

Casting is an interesting issue for films of this type. Supporting Mr. Schwarzenegger in Barbarian are James Earl Jones, and Max von Sydow with an appearance by William Smith, while Destroyer has Grace Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Sarah Douglas and Olivia d’abo.

Further of interest is that films with a largish budget from that era would be released monaural. Arrow’s new 4k UHD release sticks with mono for Barbarian, while goes with a re-mix to 7.1 for Destroyer.

Those deeply into the productions will be aware of different mixes, but I’ve neither researched, nor am I aware of the subject, and will remain mute.

As far as image quality, the two films are reference quality, and appear akin to newly minted 35mm prints.

Image – 10 (HDR10)

Conan the Barbarian – 10 (DTS-HD MA Monaural (Center channel only)
Conan the Destroyer – 10 (DTS-HD MA 7.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors – Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k – 7

Worth your attention – 7

Slipcover rating – n/a



Final point: Might I ask Arrow to please lower the gain on their logo? It is SO LOUD, IT CAN DAMAGED ONE’S HEARING![/FONT][/SIZE]

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Robert has been known in the film industry for his unmatched skill and passion in film preservation. Growing up around photography, his first home theater experience began at age ten with 16mm. Years later he was running 35 and 70mm at home.

His restoration projects have breathed new life into classic films like Lawrence of Arabia, Vertigo, My Fair Lady, Spartacus, and The Godfather series. Beyond his restoration work, he has also shared his expertise through publications, contributing to the academic discourse on film restoration. The Academy Film Archive houses the Robert A. Harris Collection, a testament to his significant contributions to film preservation.

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Robert Harris

Senior HTF Member
Feb 8, 1999
Real Name
Robert Harris
Defaulting to original mono isn't uncommon for Arrow releases. You usually have to select the newer mixes.
Understood, but only one defaults to mono.

Confirming, both films have new Atmos mixes, with Atmos on all three cuts of Barbarian.
Last edited:

Lord Dalek

Senior HTF Member
Apr 4, 2005
Real Name
Joel Henderson
I mean both Conan films were shot with garbage lenses (if you're familiar with the looks of Arrow's 4Ks of Flash Gordon and Dune, you know already since they were also made with Dino's el cheapo Todd-AO 35 cameras) but this UHD still blows away the Universal blu-rays and it has THE PROPER ENDING for Barbarian.

John Sparks

Senior HTF Member
Sep 12, 2001
Menifee, CA
Real Name
John Sparks
Or enjoy thread crapping with negativity.

But if they are good enough to own...why not watch them in the best possible way? You only live once.

The way I look at it anyway.
I only buy in UHD if it’s a movie is one of my favorites. Those are just fill ins in my collection.


Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
Senior HTF Member
Feb 24, 2000
Sonora Norte
Real Name
I only buy in UHD if it’s a movie is one of my favorites. Those are just fill ins in my collection.
Then why post in a thread about the 4K releases of these two films just to let everyone know that you're not buying them??? It adds nothing of worth to the conversation.

Dave H

Senior HTF Member
Aug 13, 2000
Looking very forward to these especially Barbarian. Even when it came to BD, I always felt it was not mastered well.
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