HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
Luck & Logic
Duel of the Masters
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  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 2302 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
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: