Zardoz (1973)

USA, Ireland,
35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), colour, 2.35:1
stereo, English

An American/Irish science fiction film directed by John Boorman.

Plot Summary

The distant future: while the savage Brutals rule the wastelands, worshipping the flying stone head Zardoz, the Eternals, a ruling elite, live in a pastoral enclave. But their idyll is ruined by a plague that is decimating their numbers, leaving the Eternals lethargic and virtually catatonic. One of the Brutals, the Exterminator Zed, infiltrates the Eternal enclave and, in an abandoned library, discovers the truth behind Zardoz and threatens to disrupt the balance of power…


Directed by: John Boorman (A film by John Boorman)
© MCMLXXIII [1973] Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
John Boorman Productions [uncredited]
Released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Produced by: John Boorman
Associate Producer: Charles Orme
Written by: John Boorman
Photographed by: Geoffrey Unsworth
Editor: John Merritt
Music by: David Munrow
Sound Mixer: Liam Saurin
Costumes by: Christel Kruse Boorman
Make-up: Basil Newall
Hair Stylist: Colin Jamison
Special Effects: Gerry Johnson
Process Projection Effects: Charles Staffell
Production Designer: Anthony Pratt
Locations: The Wicklow Mountains, Ireland
Studio: Filmed at Ardmore Studios, Ireland

Sean Connery (Zed)
Charlotte Rampling [Consuella]
Sara Kestelman [May]
John Alderton [Friend]
Sally Anne Newton (Avalow)
Niall Buggy (Arthur Frayn/Zardoz)
Bosco Hogan (George Saden)
Jessica Swift (Apathetic)
Bairbre Dowling (Star)
Christopher Casson (old scientist)
Reginald Jarman (Death)

Alternative Titles

Tas tanri Zardoz – Turkish title



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.22 pp.22-25, 54 – illustrated artiockle (Zardoz)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.23 p.53 – short review (Frankenstein at large)
  • The Hollywood Reporter 13 June 1973 p.10 – credits, review
  • Variety 29 November 1972 – note
  • Variety 30 January 1974 – review


  • L.A. Times 11 January 1974 IV:1 – review


  • The 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Richard Crouse p.249-251 – credits, review
  • The A-Z of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films p.301 – credits, review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.316; 317 – illustrated credits, review
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.203-204 – illustrated credits, review
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.452 – credits, review
  • Cult Flicks and Trash Pics p.303 – credits, review
  • Elliot's Guide to Films of Video by John Elliot p.896 – credits, short review, UK video data
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.127-29, 129, 131-32
  • Film Review 1974-75 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.212
  • Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s by Michael Berman and Rohit Dalvi (eds.) pp.73-87 – article (Zardoz and the problem of infinity: Heidegger and Levinas beyond love and death by Drew M. Dalton)
  • Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.404 – credits, short review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis 442 – credits
  • Looking for a New England: Action, Time, Vision: Music, Film and TV 1975-1986 by Simon Matthews pp.32, 52, 145
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.82 – credits, review
  • Psychedelic Celluloid: British Pop Music in Film and TV 1965-1974 by Simon Matthews p.182 – illustrated review
  • by Walt Lee p.556 – credits
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Handbook by Alan Frank p.146 – credits, review
  • Science Fiction Films of the Seventies by Craig W. Anderson pp.65-70 – credits, review
  • The Science Fiction Image by Gene Wright pp.333-334 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.242
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.127-128  – illustrated credits, review
  • Video Source Book (13th edition) Volume 2 p.2942 – US video dates
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.20

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide March/April 2013 p.15 – illustrated listing