HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
Climax, The
Justice League Dark
   
 
Newest Articles
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
   
 
  Vikings, The The Norse CodeBuy this film here.
Year: 1958
Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald, Alexander Knox, Maxine Audley, Frank Thring, Eileen Way, Edric Conor, Dandy Nichols, Per Buckhøj, Orson Welles
Genre: Action, Historical, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A thousand years ago, or thereabouts, the Vikings were the scourge of Northern Europe and especially the British Isles, where they would carry out regular raids in an attempt to take over. During one such raid, Viking king Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine) raped a Northumbrian Queen and killed her husband, leading her to bear his child. Yet she would keep this secret from the man who succeeded the dead King, Aella (Frank Thring), knowing the child was in danger. And so twenty years passed and very little changed: the Vikings still attacked, and Aella was still a tyrant...

Ha-har! Ha-har-har! Quaff that ale, brandish that axe, for it's time to spend a couple of hours with the Norse warriors, brought to the screen in what the filmmakers prided themselves on being as accurate a historical drama as they could possibly create. The Vikings was a very big deal at the time when such epics were in vogue, the perfect escapism when life might have been more straightlaced, in its country of origin anyway, and seeing all these roistering, manly men throwing caution to the wind and acting as they pleased must have been thrilling to audiences of the day.

Needless to say, the three main stars playing the title characters plunged themselves into their roles with abandon, fashioning the most vivid portrayals of the Scandinavian battlers that has ever been seen, and remains hard to beat even today. Kirk Douglas, who produced this, is our lusty lead, playing Einar who is described as vain because he does not wish to grow a beard (or maybe Douglas was reluctant in real life), but such regard for his features is cruelly punished when he meets slave Eric (Tony Curtis) who ends up setting his hawk on him and blinding Einar in one eye. What they don't know is that they are half-brothers thanks to Ragnar putting it about a bit.

There's much to relish here for fans of overbearing masculinity in the cinema, but it isn't just one long succession of pillaging and brutality, there is a story to all this. When Ragnar's man in Britain, Egbert (James Donald) is rumbled by King Aella, he flees across the North Sea to be welcomed by Ragnar until he can return, and part of the plan they draw up is to kidnap the young Welsh princess who has been promised to Aella in marriage. She is Morgana (Janet Leigh), and she didn't want to marry him anyway, but neither does she much fancy being forced to wed Einar who is very keen on her, but confused that she should be so hostile (a heart to heart with dad sorts out any doubts that he may have been having).

Jack Cardiff deserves a lot of credit for making The Vikings so opulent in its look, with the location photography absolutely superb whether it's an authentic Norwegian fjord or the climactic battle at a medieval castle that rounds off the action. And there is a lot of action, with plentiful sword fights, brawling and even Douglas "running the oars", a genuine pasttime of the Norsemen, part of the infectious energy of director Richard Fleischer's stylings. Perhaps the appeal is to judge between the civilised society we have now in comparison with the savages of yore, so that we can wallow in characters who made their own rules and didn't need to worry about speeding tickets and the like in their everyday lives. Yes, a time when men were men and women were nervous, somewhere that this film shows might have been fun to visit, but in the cold light of day be thankful you didn't have to stay there. Rousing music by Mario Nascimbene.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2034 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Fleischer  (1916 - 2006)

American director whose Hollywood career spanned five decades. The son of famed animator Max Fleischer, he started directing in the forties, and went on to deliver some stylish B-movies such as Armored Car Robbery and Narrow Margin. His big break arrived with Disney's hit live action epic, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, and which he followed up with such films as The Vikings, Compulsion, Fantastic Voyage, The Boston Strangler, true crime story 10 Rillington Place, See No Evil, cult favourite Soylent Green, Mister Majestyk, Amityville 3-D and sequel Conan the Destroyer. He became unfairly well known for his critical flops, too, thanks to Doctor Dolittle, Che!, Mandingo, The Jazz Singer remake, Red Sonja and Million Dollar Mystery, some of which gained campy cult followings, but nevertheless left a solid filmography to be proud of.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: