If you haven’t seen James Earl Jones in a Betty Page mullet wig as Thulsa Doom in “Conan the Barbarian” then you haven’t really lived. You can correct that glaring error tonight at 8 or 10:45 p.m. ET (you’re choice!) when we show that fine cult classic of a film as part of our Movies That Go Bang! Bang! series.
In the movie, Conan (Arnold Schwarzeneggar, duh), a poor man without even a shirt to cover his enormous pecs is forced to wear only a loin cloth, a tiara, and a giant sword as he travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the man responsible for killing his family (and hiding his clothes, we assume). But before he can take down Doom, Conan wanders in the wilderness like he’s in the bible or something until he takes up with thieves Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) and Subota (Gerry Lopez). The trio comes upon a weird snake cult, linked to Doom. Obviously Conan wants to immediately trek off to Doom’s mountain retreat to kill him. But he is prevented from doing that by King Osrik (Max Von Sydow), who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills. It’s very dramatic and more importantly, extremely fun to watch. Especially if you root for James Earl Jones. And you should always root for James Earl Jones, whatever his role.
Here are five of our favorite James Earl Jones roles:
1. Darth Vader in “Star Wars”
2. Mufasa in “The Lion King”
3. Few Clothes in “Matewan”
4. Rev. Stephen Kumalo in “Cry, the Beloved Country”
5. King Jaffe Joffer in “Coming to America”
“Conan the Barbarian” airs on IFC tonight at 8 p.m. ET and again at 10:45 p.m. ET