The Vikings (1958) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Einar and Eric are two Viking half-brothers. The former is a great warrior whilst the other is an ex-slave, but neither knows the true identity of the other. When the throne of Northumbria in Britain becomes free for the taking, the two brothers compete against one another for the prize, but they… Runtime: 116 min Release Date: 28 Jun 1958
I saw this film at the pictures a long, long time ago.I was a kid and was as wide eyeyed as any kid seeing a spectacular of comparable impact as Star Wars or Harry Paintpot or any derivative.How on earth could any little lad be less than profoundly moved by the images of of eyes being ripped out by a hawk, people being eaten by crabs, wild wolves eating people in a pit, hands being chopped of.This was a bloody massive movie and still is.I just bought it on VCR and feel like a kid again.I cannot imagine any modern kid being as equally moved but I'm sure they will come across it one day the <more>
same way I see impressive movies on TV made way before I was around.Trouble is, for some reason this film never seems to get shown on either satellite or terrestrial TV. Why is that?Setting asside my middle aged predudice, I challenge anyone to put forward a movie of a more spectactularly impressive introductary sequence and haunting theme music.
The Vikings is a top notch movie. I too saw this movie as a young kid in the 50's and I loved it then. I went and saw it every time it was rereleased in the theaters. Viewing it on video 40 years later it has lost none of its luster. Kirk Douglas gives an outstanding performance as Einar. Ernest Borgnine should be the prototype of all future viking performances. Excellent supporting cast in Frank Thring and James Donald. Everything about this movie is excellent including the musical score, the scenery, the story line, the makeup. This film gives a true picture of Viking savagery and love <more>
of life and war. I do not want to give away any of the plot so just rent this movie you will not be disappointed.
An excellent film with marvelous scenery and terrific acting. (by wade1555)
Ernie Borgnine, playing the viking father of Kirk Douglas but actually very close in age, does a marvelous job in this film. I have seen this film many times and each time I am more impressed than the last time. Also, the beautiful scenery sets a background for the sea scenes and the home location of the Vikings. The Fjords, hills and waterfalls are so very beautiful. I especially enjoyed the final battle scene where Einar and Eric are fighting on the top of a castle tower where it looked as if any slight false move would have both of them and the camera operator tumbling down to an awful <more>
demise. I highly recommend this film to those who enjoy watching Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine and the others.
When I was a boy of 11 years, I admired the reconstructed Viking ships near our cottage at the Hardanger fjord. It was the year 1957, when Kirk, Tony and Borgnine visited our country and participated in this beautiful movie... In a funny sort of way, the picture makes us Norwegians proud of that brutal past... I have seen it many times, and am struck by the surprisingly "right" atmosphere, touched by the landscape that I know so very well, and fascinated by the action. OK, so it's Hollywood, but somehow, I have the feeling they don't make movies like this any more. Pity! <more>
A good-looking epic in which you can almost feel the harsh climate... (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
The Dark Ages in the cinema have to live up to accepted connotations of pillage, murder and rapewithin the limits of the family picture, of course... Richard Fleischer's film is photographed with all the visual grandeur of Technirama, with some mystically beautiful shots of the Viking ships in the fjords of Norway... The film presents fearsome warriors who glide silently out of the mists in their great dragon-shaped long ships to pillage towns and villages before disappearing once more out to sea... These are the Vikings and their fighting prowess, feared along the England coasts...Led <more>
by fiercest warriors, they live for adventure and combat... The Vikings believe that a warrior dying a glorious death will gain immortality as his exploits will be forever remembered by those left behind... To this end, the Vikings calling upon their god to help them continually seek combat and fear little as they look for a way to enter Valhalla...The Vikings, worshipers of Odin, the god of war and death, try to conquer England, which at that time was a series of small, divided kingdoms... The film plays against the background of lust and blood, love and hate, as Eric Tony Curtis , symbolizing the traditional rebel slave emerges from obscurity and performs the deeds of a proud warrior, predestined to win with the steel of his sword... The opening scene presents a vivid introduction to Norse savagery as Viking leader Rainar Ernest Borgnine , invades the English coast and pillages everything in his path... He kills the king and rapes the queen, who later has to admit to her confessor Father Godwin Alexander Knox that she is pregnant... Twenty years later, Aella Frank Thring , the successor, announces that in order to strength their defenses against the Vikings, he will unite the kingdoms of Northumbria and Wales by marrying the Welsh princess Morgana Janet Leigh , a price the young lady was not willing to pay...The mean king also turns upon his upright cousin Lord Egbert James Donald and accuses him of being an English conspirator, and has him thrown into jail... Egbert is rescued from a cruel death by Ragnar...Back in Norway, Ragnar is greeted by his son Einar Kirk Douglas who is instantly hostile to the Englishman... While showing Egbert some 'barbarian' customs, Einar comes across a pair of slaves, one of whom is Eric... Apparently captured as a child, Eric has grown up among the Vikings, but he and Einar become enemies when Eric turns his hunting hawk on him...Eric stands trial and is punished by being cast into a slop-pool to be eaten alive by giant crabs... Egbert notices a royal pummel-stone Eric wears around his neck... Aware that the Queen mother had placed such an ornament on her illegitimate offspring, he suspects the identity of Eric and asks Ragnar innocently: 'If Eric survives, what then?'When the king's intended bride is kidnapped by Einar, and brought to Norway, Morgana finds herself drawn to Eric to the consternation of Einar, who would like to have the lovely princess as his Viking queen...With the help of Eric, Morgana is able to escape back to England, but this only intensifies the hate between Einar and Ericwhom we know are half brothers...The jovial humor of the script by Calder Willingham, later co-author of the script for 'The Graduate' is nicely captured in a scene between British princess Morgana and her older and less well endowed companion, who are in the power of the Vikings, held prisoner in a boat moored in the fjord by their stronghold... Both are expecting that violation is on the way, a possibility which is worrying Morgana very much more than her companion...'The Vikings' serves as an illustration of the lifestyle of the ferocious Norsemen whose idea of fun and games was pretty much as lethal as their warfare...
so much fun you'll overlook its minor flaws (by MartinHafer)
This movie is NOT high art. Nope. It's a "guy picture" that will doubtless be looked down upon by SERIOUS cinephiles. However, despite all the silly stuff thrown into it and this movie has Everything , you find yourself really enjoying the movie. Sometimes mindless adventure is what everyone needs. The music, though repetitive, is very haunting and will probably become stuck in your brain. The cinematography is great, too, as the director and producer chose to film on location in Norway.Now the plot--it has so much it's almost overwhelming: 1. An opening scene of murder, <more>
pillaging and,...yes, rape though nothing is shown here . 2. Drinking and more drinking and wenching with a giant Viking toga party. 3. A trained hawk being thrown into Kirk Douglas' face. Subsequently, his face appears torn apart and is blinded in one eye. 4. For this crime, Tony Curtis is thrown into a pool where he is to be drowned and eaten by crabs. 5. A traitor helps the Vikings plan an abduction of a sexy princess Janet Leigh . Once she is stolen, Douglas decides to keep her for himself. 6. Tony Curtis not eaten by crabs, miraculously steals Leigh and takes here back to Britain. In chasing them, Ernest Borgnine the Chief falls into the water and is taken prisoner by fleeing Curtis. 7. Curtis gives Borgnine to the evil English king. The king will throw Borgnine into a pit of wolves. Borgnine objects, as a REAL VIKING MUST die with a sword in hand. The king declines to assist him, but Curtis takes pity and gives him a sword. Borgnine then willingly jumps into the pit and is mauled. 8. For helping Borgnine, Curtis has his hand cut off by the jerk of a king. 9. Somehow Curtis makes it back to Norway to get the Vikings' help to exact revenge and help him get into Leigh's skirt . 10. The Vikings storm the castle and all the English are killed. 11. This sets the stage for a final showdown between Douglas and Curtis. They have a rousing fight on the castle parapets. 12. Curtis' sword breaks but Douglas pauses before killing him--as he has learned that Curtis is actually his HALF-BROTHER!!! 13. Due to the hesitation, Curtis plunges the broken sword into Douglas' gut. Before dying, he lets out a cool yell. 14. Douglas' body is placed on a Viking ship and set ablaze I'd like to go that way . Somehow, in the confusion, the other Vikings forget to murder Curtis for all his treachery. Fade out.Wow--that's enough stuff for 2 movies! Give it a try and be ready for a fast-paced roller-coaster adventure.FYI--Despite all the salacious qualities of the film, it actually is exceptional from a historical point of view. No where in the film do Vikings wear horned helmets and their life is typical of many Vikings in the Middle Ages. Heck, it's decent enough that's I've used clips of it in my history classes.
United Artists THE VIKINGS 1958 is one of the great epics of the fifties. Based on the book "The Vikings" by Edison Marshall it was produced by Jerry Brasler for Bryna Productions Kirk Douglas' own company which he named after his mother .Beautifully photographed in Technirama and Technicolor by ace British cinematographer Jack Cardiff more than 4000 multinational performers and technicians worked on the giant production. Filmed on actual locations in the mountains and fjords of Norway the picture is well remembered for its scenic beauty and authentic sets. The splendid <more>
screenplay was put together by Dale Wasserman and Calder Willingham and Richard Fleischer directed with a deft hand an all star cast. The picture is also notable for the fine polished narration spoken by an uncredited Orson Welles. Ragnar Ernest Borgnine is the savage Viking chieftain who with his Viking horde rape and pillage along the English coast. On one such raid he rapes an English Queen who later gives birth to a boy they call Eric Tony Curtis . But his existing son Einar Kirk Douglas is unaware he has a half brother and grows to hate Eric especially after the Vikings attack an English ship and abduct the princess Morgana Janet Leigh whom both sons desire. Sometime later Eric rescues the princess from the Viking camp and in a small boat makes a dash for England with Ragnar and Einar in hot pursuit. During the chase Ragnar's ship goes aground in the fog but Eric saves him, pulls him aboard and takes him to England as well where the treacherous king Aella sentences Ragnar to die in the dog pit. Later Eric returns to Norway to muster Einer and his men to attack the English castle where Morgana is being held and to avenge Ragnar's death. The picture ends in a marvellous set piece as the Vikings take the castle after a blistering well staged battle and Eric and Einar battle it out to the death in a terrific sword duel atop the dizzying castle parapets.Performances are superb from the entire cast. Douglas himself is a standout in his own production. His facility for knockabout action is a joy to behold. His prowess and unerring skill at stunts is well revealed in THE VIKINGS exemplified in the taking of the castle sequence. Here Douglas, under fire from rocks and arrows, charges and leaps across the open moat grabbing onto the axe handles which his men had already thrown and embedded in the underside of the raised drawbridge. Then using the axes to grip he clambers up and over to let the bridge down. It is a stunning and spectacular piece of stunt work! Again in an earlier scene Douglas can clearly be seen doing what is known as Dancing The Oars whereby he hops from oar to oar outside the ship for the amusement of the camp. Excellent too was Tony Curtis! Here was the emergence of Tony Curtis the ACTOR which manifested itself in Burt Lancaster's "Trapeze" 1956 , with Lancaster again in "Sweet Smell of Success" 1957 and then in "The Defiant Ones" 1958 . Gone were his pretty boy days at Universal International the studio he started with and where he would become their top pinup male star alongside a young Rock Hudson and Jeff Chandler. Also a standout in THE VIKINGS is Ernest Borgnine giving a powerful portrayal of the Viking leader Ragnar - a part he was born to play. Others in smaller roles are good too such as Alexander Knox as the Friar, Frank Thring as the sly and dubious Aella, James Donald as Egbert the English traitor and Janet Leigh Mrs. Curtis at the time as the princess.My only problem with the movie is the staid and laboured music score by Italian composer Mario Nascimbene a composer who never really distinguished himself in anything he did. Despite the haunting and echoing motif that sings out the two words of the film's title on a giant elephant tusk the colourless tinny sounding score is quite insipid and uninspired. It is surprising that a composer the calibre of Miklos Rozsa or Dimitri Tiomkin - two men who could score such epics in their sleep - were not approached to work on Douglas' picture. Their involvement would have added immeasurably to the film giving it a greater buoyancy and density. However, the score not withstanding THE VIKINGS is still a great movie and remains one of cinema's finest blockbuster epics.
This triumphant celebration of the Norsemen (by roffey1952)
I was shocked into writing by hearing the criticism of all the things that make The Vikings such a special film to me. The music --I heard it as a kid and rate it as hypnotising as Wagner`s Nibelung music/ The brutal no-hold barred humour where women are not treated as if they`re made out of cut-glass / the ripped out eye and the wolves and most of all the ensemble acting where everyone creates that world that has gone for ever.
A Great Epic (by wlmlbl)
This is probably one of the best movies depicting the Viking civilization. Kirk Douglas plays Einar, son of the great Viking warrior Ragnar Ernest Borgnine . Ragnar has been raiding England, and fathers a child by Queen Enid. This child is quickly spirited away to Italy and later captured by the Vikings. Twenty years later, Queen Enid dies, but the rumors that she had a child by Ragnar dog her husband's successor to the throne, King Aella. The King accuses one of his lords of treason by aiding the Viking raids. This lord quickly escapes, with the aid of the Vikings, and continues to aid <more>
them by drawing maps of the English coast. He meets Eric, a slave who dislikes Einar, and uses a hunting hawk to attack him. Later, Lord Egbert recognizes him as the child of Queen Enid and Ragnar. Lord Egbert gains possession of the slave in order to save his life. The Vikings later capture Princess Morgana of Wales to hold for ransom. Einer wants Morgana for himself, but Eric helps her escape, and takes her and Ragnar back to England. Morgana is supposed to marry Ayella, but doesn't want to. She asks to be released from her pledge to marry him, and he refuses. Ragnar is sent to his death in a pit of wolves, but not before Eric cuts his bonds, and gives him a sword with which to die. The Vikings believe that to enter Valhalla, one must die with a sword in his hand. As punishment, Ayella cuts Eric's left hand off. Eric returns to the Viking village, and tells then what happened to Ragnar. Eric and Einar join forces to defeat Ayella, and then they have one last battle in which Einar is killed, but not before Eric gives him a sword to die with. Einar is then given the traditional Viking funeral, sent adrift in a burning Viking ship. This movie depicted the Vikings like no other could. Ernest Borgnine was perfect as Ragnar. He looked like he was born into that role. This was probably my favorite of all Kirk Douglas's movies. As Einar, he has a lot of his father's qualities. The only difference being Einar had a shaved face. Frank Thring, who plays King Ayella, does an excellent portrayal. He is a very cold and cruel person, and Eric gets even with him in the end by shoving him into the pit of wolves. I was around 5 when this movie came out, and the one scene that sticks out in my mind was the one of Ayella cutting off Eric's hand. Without a doubt, one of the best movies.