All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

By Tommy Lethbridge Published 3 minutes ago

Based on Robert E. Howard’s beloved books, Conan the Barbarian has featured in numerous TV and movie adaptations. Some have been better than others.

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best


  • Despite numerous adaptations, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan remains the most iconic and successful portrayal on screen.
  • Conan's core identity as a wandering adventurer encountering various challenges remains consistent in most adaptations.
  • While some interpretations of Conan have fallen short, bold adaptations like "She Is Conann" have successfully refreshed the character's story.


Robert E. Howard's iconic character Conan has been adapted for film and television on several occasions, yet some interpretations have been significantly more successful than others. Despite being a staple of sword and sorcery fantasy fiction since the 1930s, it wasn't until Arnold Schwarzenegger assumed the role in the 80s that fans got to see the character fully realized on screen. In the years since, six further adaptations have arrived &- each with its own strengths and flaws.

Understandably for a character that has been around for almost 100 years, Conan has evolved since his early iterations. However, despite some important changes in the intervening years, most movies and TV shows keep the character's core identity intact. Conan is usually depicted as a wanderer, who encounters many different peoples and monsters in his travels, rarely settling in one place for long. This allows his adventures to encompass all sorts of experiences &- from the horrific to the thrilling. As such, the seven movies and TV shows to feature Conan have a wealth of different directions to explore.

7 Conan The Barbarian (2011)

Jason Momoa's reinterpretation falls flat.

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

Hoped to be the renaissance the Conan movies desperately needed after decades of inactivity, 2011's Conan The Barbarian doubled-down on some of the franchise's worst tendencies. The script was almost universally criticized as blunt and cliché-ridden, while the movie's many action set-pieces were dismissed for their overreliance on CGI &- explaining the movie's dismal 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, there were some minor upsides to the project. Jason Momoa's Conan was generally regarded as a solid Schwarzenegger replacement and the level of violence was at least on par with Howard's original vision.

6 Conan The Adventurer (1997)

Live-action series rips off genre hits

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

There were two major issues with Syndication's short-lived Conan The Adventurer series. The first was that it fundamentally changed the essence of Conan's character, transforming him from a brooding and genuinely dangerous loner to part of a happy band of warriors sharing typically light-hearted adventures. The second was that the show was a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of hits like Xena: Warrior Princess while offering little new to genre fans. The combination of these factors made Conan The Adventurer a disappointing missed opportunity, feeling more like a remake of the Conan cartoons than the original novels.

5 Conan And The Young Warriors (1994)

Cartoon sequel misinterprets the source material.

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

While fantasy epics can have broad appeal to younger audiences, the level of violence and adult content in Howard's original stories poses an obvious problem for would-be child-friendly adaptations. In the end, this proved to be the major obstacle for 1994's Conan and the Young Warriors animated series. Intended as a follow-up to the more successful Conan the Adventurer show, The Young Warriors was even more child-friendly in tone, representing a serious departure from Howard's vision. This explains why the show ran for just one series and 13 episodes.

4 Conan The Destroyer (1984)

Schwarzenegger's follow-up changes the formula

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

Pursuing a theory that the original film's violence prevented even greater success, producer Dino De Laurentiis decided that Conan the Destroyer should have a much lighter tone &- ordering extensive cuts to violent scenes to secure a PG rating. This decision proved to be the sequel's downfall. Not only did Schwarzenegger clearly struggle to adapt his hulking physicality to the movie's comedic sensibilities, but Conan the Destroyer lost the epic essence of what endeared audiences to the original film. While some critics found the movie's new tone more engaging, the movie sits at a fairly uninspiring 26% on Rotten Tomatoes &- a marked step-down.

3 Conan The Adventurer (1992-1993)

A fun new direction for the classic character.

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

On one level, Conan the Adventurer is one of the least accurate adaptations of Howard's books to date. In the animated series, the titular warrior is a highly sanitized and family-friendly version of the original. However, despite these differences, Conan the Adventurer still managed to deliver a compelling, engaging take on the character within the constraints of kids' TV. The show was a hit with audiences and delivered generally faithful (albeit tonally different) adaptations of Howard's stories. Alongside shows like Dungeons & Dragons, Conan the Adventurer helped legitimize high fantasy as a genre suitable for younger audiences &- however dark the source material.

2 She Is Conann (2023)

Bold adaptation reaps the rewards of taking risks.

All 7 Conan The Barbarian Movies & Shows, Ranked Worst To Best

Directed and written by French director Bertrand Mandico, She Is Conann is perhaps the least orthodox version of the Conan story released to date. Nevertheless, the 2023 is also one of the most successful &- working not just as a reinterpretation of the source material, but on its own merit as a bombastic fantasy action flick. The gender-swapped movie centers on the life of Conann, a female warrior shown in individual vignettes at different ages of her life. Despite transforming the character, She is Conann successfully recaptures the brutal violence of the novels and revels in its fantasy setting.

1 Conan The Barbarian (1982)

The Schwarzenegger original still stands apart

Close Director John Milius Release Date May 14, 1982 Cast Arnold Schwarzenegger , Sandahl Bergman , James Earl Jones , Max Von Sydow Runtime 113 minutes

Despite some shortcomings, the original Arnold Schwarzenegger-led fantasy action blockbuster still rates as the best Conan movie or TV adaptation to date. For starters, the movie remains the best and most sincere attempt yet to replicate the feel of Howard's books &- both narratively and tonally. Schwarzenegger is perfectly cast in the title role and has understandably defined the character for over 40 years.

A significant factor in Conan the Barbarian's success is its enduring legacy. The film was arguably responsible for turning Schwarzenegger into a bonafide action star, catapulting him to mainstream recognition. The movie is also still hailed as one of the preeminent fantasy movies pre-Peter Jackson's game-changing The Lord of the Rings adaptations in the early 2000s. Although many Conan movies and TV shows have subsequently failed to do the character justice, Milius' 1982 hit proves that it is possible.

Created by Robert E. Howard Character(s) Conan the Barbarian , Red Sonja

Понравилась статья? Поделиться с друзьями:
Добавить комментарий

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: