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Untold Tales of Hollywood #12

Ron Cobb did a beautiful job designing the swords for Conan the Barbarian.

Cobb’s design for Conan’s father’s sword (

Close-up of Ron Cobb’s Atlantian sword handle and hilt design (

John Milius found Jody Sampson, a man John declared to be “the finest sword maker in the world” and commissioned Jody to make the hero version (the sword used for close-ups) of Conan’s sword. When it was delivered, Milius was beside himself with glee. He proudly invited Steven Spielberg over to gaze upon this incredible sword.

“Watch this!” John instructed.

Milius took the sword and threw it at a wall. The sword did not stick in the wall — it zoomed right through it, arriving at a stop just inches away from the head of a film editor working in the next room.

John retrieved the sword and offered it to Steven.

“Test it out,” Milius offered. “This sword can cut through an engine block!”

Steven took the sword and swung it toward the floor. Upon hitting the floor, this very expensive sword broke in two.

Steven sheepishly handed John back his sword pieces and left the room. Milius had the most shocked and forlorn expression on his face that I had ever seen.

PS: I just dug up and added new images to post #10.

1 thought on “Untold Tales of Hollywood #12

  1. I wonder if Jody Sampson also designed Sean Connery’s sword for Milius’s The Wind and the Lion. That was a beautiful piece of work, the sword and the film.

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