SOURCES: Métal Hurlant,, The Gift of Fury.

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In the Metal Hurlant special issue, to Doug Headline who asks him "Did you notice sequences filmed but not included in the film?", Schwarzenegger answers:

  Yes, there are many. But we had enough footage to make a 4 hour film! It is inevitable to lose material, even some good one, in the editing process. However, the editors of this film did a particularly excellent work, in my opinion. Scenes in the arena are especially missing, several pit fights. It is a pity, but who knows? Perhaps they will be recycled in the sequel?"  
On the forum of the official site, one can learn that the arean sequence originally lasted 6 minutes (it was reduced to a little less than half of that in the current cut)! By seeing the multiple production stills which show us Milius sprinkling false blood on his actors using a large canister (his motto during the shooting was: "More blood!"), it is not quite difficult to understand why these scenes brought down the censure's wrath upon themselves.

Different "pit fights" (which one supposes that they all were filmed in their entirety, in the image of the first) are thus found, in the final cut, synthesized in some montage sequence: a series of shots on Conan who hits his adversary, a series of shots of the crowd in fury, a series of shots on Conan who finishes off his adversary, a series of shots on Conan who salutes the crowd... By meticulously breaking up this clip and by studying the weapons used, the wardrobe and the set decorations of the arena (which differ each time), one can have a rather good idea about the total number of fights filmed by Milius.



  • Weapons: Naked hands.
  • Wardrobe and adversary: Conan (in simple loincloth) faces a black giant with leather masked face and teeth cut into points (Junga, the Kushite).
  • Set decoration of the arena: Rectangular stone pit.
  • What remains in the film: It is the most complete fight (30 shots).


  • Weapons
: Daggers and shields.
  • Wardrobe and adversary: Conan (protected by leather thin straps) faces one man with the face painted in white.
  • Set decoration of the arena: Pit made up of logs.
  • What it remains about it: Very little (only 3 shots!).


  • Weapons: Long prolonged hobnailed gloves of a blade.
  • Wardrobe and adversary: Conan (masked face) faces a man.
  • Set decoration of the arena: Circular stone pit.
  • What it remains about it: Not large thing (6 shots).


  • Weapons: Weapons of fist with five blades.
  • Wardrobe and adversary: Conan (helmeted) faces a man.
  • Set decoration of the arena:
  • What it remains about it: It is, with the first, the fight which has best   survived the final cut (16 shots, including 4 shots of crowd).


  • Weapons: Axes.
  • Wardrobe and adversary:
  • Set decoration of the arena:
  • What it remains about it: 4 unhappy shots (including 1 shot of the crowd and 2 shots in silhouette!).


  • Weapons: Bent swords and shields.
  • Wardrobe and adversary: Conan faces a woman.
  • Arena: Pit in painted logs of white symbols.
  • What it remains about it: Practically nothing! (2 shots)


This sixth fight thus fits the famous cut scene of the "pit fighting girl", which so often returns in the fans conversations. It appears in the novelization. CromIsGod mentions it of course in his listing; Schwarzenegger and Milius speak about it in their audio commentary; AkimGooseBischoff even devoted to it a whole paragraph in the "Lost Scenes" section of his great "Gift of Fury" (precursory website of the current, unfortunately down):

  A Female Pit Fighter (played by Sarolo) falls for Conan in a different way than sexually in this scene, when she is beheaded in one stroke by the fierce barbarian. After filming, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sarolo pose for a press shot as they both hold up her decapitated head (picture 1). Sarolo is not really an actress but actually director John Milius' secretary, who was very happy to participate in the filming. The bloody head of the woman was created by special effects designer Carlo De Marchis. This was one of the many gladiator scenes that were cut out of the film in an attempt to tone down the film's violence to avoid an X-rating.  
I already pointed out that two shots of this unseen scene miraculously survived in the final cut. Contrary to an extremely widespread popular belief [1], the one shot where a pair of legs comes in the foreground and faces Conan in the arena does not belong to it: this shots actually belongs to the series of the fourth fight (which means that these legs are man's legs).

Other fights were doubtless filmed by Milius. There is for example a production still on which Conan (on the left), wearing some sort of Roman gladiator helmet, is fighting to the death in a ring of fire (picture 2)! This same scene appears, as if by chance, in the comic book adaptation of the movie (picture 3) (and one knows that the artists of this kind of comics do have at their disposal many production photos, and even some scenes already edited). It is thus extremely possible that such other scene, drawn by Buscema (picture 3 again), where one sees Conan facing a new adversary using thick leather gloves (different of those used at the time of the third fight), could also have been filmed, then cut during the editing (or not even used).

Another lost section: the very first appearance of Valeria (who thus took place much earlier in the original cut). The future partner of Conan, indeed, also fought in the arena (but not against him). Oddly, this scene much intrigues the fans. Akim Bischoff, for example, seems to wonder about its true place in film:
  Where and when this scene, which did not survive the cut, was integrated in film is not easy to determine. Here nevertheless the most widespread theory… At the time where Vanirs form it as a gladiator, Conan sees Valeria, the warlike goddess, to bet on itself and to dominate in the pit. Feeling curiously attracted by it, it is then involved towards another pit, to deliver its own fight to it, without knowing that the destiny will join together them again, during the flight of the Eye of the Snake.  
Did this lost scene fit among the other fights? It is extremely probable, even if some think that it in fact intervened well later in the film, in the form of a flashback. Others, more careful, still wonder if another production still showing Sandahl Bergman in the presence of Schwarzenegger in the set of the pit (picture 4) isn't quite simply a publicity posed photograph (thus challenging even the existence of such a scene).

The presence of Valeria in the arena was however envisaged right from the beginning, as a pre-production drawing signed by John Bloomfield seems to attest it (see in the "Conan files" on the DVD), depicting Valeria in pit fight costume (picture 5). A second photograph (coming from the last pages of the comic book movie adaptation) shows Sandahl Bergman alone in the pit (i.e. without Schwarzenegger), the chest discreetly splashed with blood (picture 6), and seems to confirm that this "lost scene" was indeed shot. 
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ConanCompletist 2004