Conan The Barbarian: The Arnold Schwarzenegger Introduction

By Kellar Ellsworth
Austrian-born American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of Conan the Barbarian, directed by John Milius. (Photo by Dino De Laurentiis/Universal Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

1982’s “Conan The Barbarian” introduced America to perhaps the greatest action movie star ever witnessed: Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Austrian bodybuilder was featured in the B Action Movie “Hercules in New York” and the successful documentary “Pumping Iron,” but those pale in comparison to the reach of Conan The Barbarian.

Written by Oliver Stone and directed by John Milius, also known for his writing on “Apocalypse Now,” “Jaws,” and the Dirty Harry films, “Conan” became Arnold’s big break and his chance to prove he could open a movie. Without the success of this slightly ridiculous action film, who knows if Schwarzenegger would have starred in as many of his action classics like “Commando,” “Predator,” and “Terminator.”