VHS cover
Directed byFritz Kiersch
Written byRick Marx
Peter Welbeck (screenplay)
Based onTarnsman of Gor
by John Norman
Produced byAvi Lerner
Harry Alan Towers
StarringUrbano Barberini
Rebecca Ferratti
Oliver Reed
CinematographyHans Khule
Edited byKen Bornstein
Max Lemon
Music byPino Donaggio
Distributed byThe Cannon Group, Inc.
Release date
May 9, 1987 (Cannes Film Festival)
Running time
94 minutes
CountriesUnited States
South Africa
Box office$159,731[1]

Gor is a 1987 science fiction fantasy film. It was loosely based on the 1966 novel Tarnsman of Gor, the first in the Gor series of sword and planet novels. The series was written by philosophy professor and author John Frederick Lange Jr. under his pen name John Norman. There was a sequel to the film, Outlaw of Gor (1989).


After being snubbed before a weekend-getaway by his teaching assistant, socially awkward professor of physics Tarl Cabot accidentally unlocks the magical properties of a ring which transports him to the planet Gor. After his arrival, Cabot encounters a village being attacked by the army of the tyrannical priest-king Sarm. Sarm's forces are invading neighboring settlements in an effort to retrieve the Home Stone, a mystical object that creates pathways between Gor and distant Earth. Cabot too is abruptly attacked by Sarm's warriors. After inadvertently killing Sarm's own son during the encounter, he is left for dead in the desert. He awakens to find himself being nursed back to health by Talena (Rebecca Ferratti), a scantily clad barbarian princess of the Kingdom of Ko-ro-ba. Cabot learns that Talena's father, the King, has been captured by Sarm, along with the Home Stone. Cabot travels with Talena on a rescue mission to Sarm's lands, where they are captured. Cabot leads a group of rebels in an escape effort, whereupon Cabot is able to kill Sarm, rescue Talena and her father, and reacquire the Home Stone. Tarl et al. return to Ko-ro-ba, where, after Cabot and Talena admit their love for one another, Cabot accidentally activates the Home Stone, and is returned to Earth.[2][3][4]



Cannon Films had initially planned to release the film in September of 1987, but the theatrical release was cancelled.[5]

Critical reception

Gor was widely panned upon its release (and subsequently remembered) for its poor production value and camp. The film has been the target of criticism for its overt sexual themes, and its portrayal of women as slaves to men.[6][7]

In a 2002 interview with online fanzine The Gorean Voice, John Norman recalled that Ballantine Books, holder of the rights to his novels, balked at the idea of publishing movie tie-in books. He said that Ballantine had to be circumvented in order to make the movie:[8]

Ballantine Books refused to do movie tie-ins to either film; they failed even to answer my letters. My attorney finessed his way around Ballantine's rights department and contacted the legal department at Random House. The movies were made by going over the heads of the censors.


  1. ^ Gor at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ Answers.com plot summary
  3. ^ Cracked: The Most Ridiculous Nerd Fantasy Ever Filmed
  4. ^ Bondage Erotica plot summary (archived)
  5. ^ Garcia, Nancy (September 1987). "Gor". Cinemafantastique. Fourth Castle Micromedia. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  6. ^ "No More Gor: A Conversation with John Norman" (part 1), The New York Review of Science Fiction, Issue #92, Volume 8, No. 8, 1996 (ISSN 1052-9438)
  7. ^ "No More Gor: A Conversation with John Norman" (part 2), The New York Review of Science Fiction, Issue #96, Volume 8, No. 12 1996 (ISSN 1052-9438)
  8. ^ Gorean Voice interview (quote 1)