Friday, 20 July 2012


The Vikings is an adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer in 1958 Technicolor, produced by and starring Kirk DouglasFile:Kirk douglas photo signed.JPG, and based on the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall, based in its turn on legendary material from the sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons.File:Husnes.jpg Other starring roles were taken by Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh File:Janet Leigh in Little Women 1949 trailer.JPGand Ernest Borgnine. The film made notable use of natural locations inNorway. It was mostly filmed in Maurangerfjorden and Bondhus, captured on film by File:Bondhusbreen.jpgcinematographer Jack Cardiff although Aella's castle was the real Fort de la Latte in north-east Brittany.File:Vikings moviep.jpg
Despite being derisively called a "Norse Opera" by New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, the film proved a major box office success and spawned the television series Tales of the Vikings, directed by the film's editor, Elmo Williams, which included none of the original cast or characters.

The Vikings was the second and, as it turned out, last collaboration between Fleischer and Douglas (the first was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). According to the All-Movie Guide, the director and star disagreed on the approach to the material and "for years thereafter 
would hold each other responsible for the film's falling short of its potential."The King of Northumbria is killed during a Viking raid led by the fearsome Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine). Because the king had died childless, his cousin Aella (Frank Thring) takes the throne. The king's widow, however, is pregnant with what she knows is Ragnar's child, and to protect the infant from her cousin-in-law's ambitions, she sends him off to Italy. By a twist of fate, the ship is intercepted by the Vikings, who are unaware of the child's kinship, and enslave him. The boy grows into a young man named Erik (Tony Curtis).
His parentage is finally discovered by Lord Egbert (James Donald), a Northumbrian nobleman opposed to Aella. When Aella accuses him of treason, Egbert finds sanctuary with Ragnar in Norway. Egbert recognises the Northumbrian royal sword's pommel stone on an amulet around Erik's neck, placed there by Erik's mother when he was a child, but tells no one.
Erik incurs the wrath of his half-brother Einar (Kirk Douglas), Ragnar's legitimate son and heir, after the former orders his falcon to attack Einar, taking out one of his eyes. Erik is saved from immediate execution when the tribal shaman Kitala (who loves Erik as a son) says that Odin will curse whoever kills him. He is left in a tidal pool to drown with the rising tide by Ragnar's decree to avoid the curse, but after Erik calls out to Odin, the wind shifts and forces the water away, saving him. Egbert then claims him as his slave. Egbert hopes to find an opportunity to take advantage of Erik's unknown claim to the Northumbrian kingdom.

Aella orders the Viking leader bound and thrown into a pit filled with starved wolves. To give Ragnar a Viking's death (so that he can enter Valhalla),
File:Walhall by Emil Doepler.jpg Erik, who is granted the honor of forcing him into the pit, cuts the prisoner's bonds and gives him his sword. Laughing, Ragnar jumps to his death. In response to Erik's "treason", Aella cuts off his left hand, puts him back on his ship and casts him adrift.

Erik and Morgana flee to England, along with Sandpiper, Kitala and Morgana's maid Bridget (Dandy Nichols). Einar regains consciousness and gives the alarm, and several pursuing longships quickly gain on the fugitives. In thick fog, Ragnar's longship hits a rock and sinks, while Erik's boat is guided safely by a primitive compass, a piece of magnetite in the shape of a fish that Sandpiper obtained in a distant land. Einar, in another longship, believes Ragnar to be dead and grudgingly abandons the chase. Ragnar, however, is rescued by Erik and taken prisoner to Aella. Erik and Morgana become lovers during the trip, and she agrees to seek release from her pledge to marry Aella.The enmity between Erik and Einar is exacerbated when they both fall in love with Princess Morgana (Janet Leigh), who was to marry King Aella but is captured in a raid suggested by Egbert. During a drunken feast in the "great hall", complete with giant mead caldrons and an axe-throwing competition, Einar confesses his feelings to Ragnar, who tells Einar he can have Morgana. Einar throws the guards off the ship Morgana is being held on, and begins to ravish her — defying his expectations of resistance, she submits to him, her emotions towards Einar clearly divided between attraction and revulsion. But before things can go any further, Erik grabs Einar from behind and knocks him out, then takes Morgana away on a small ship he had constructed for Egbert.
Erik returns to Einar's settlement, and tells his half-brother how his father died, and what had been Aella's reward for allowing Ragnar to die a Viking's death. With this revelation, and the promise that Erik will guide their ships through the fog (thus making a surprise attack possible), Einar is finally able to persuade the other Vikings to mount an invasion of Northumbria. Putting their mutual hatred aside for the moment, Einar and Erik sail for England.LONARTI BELOWFile:Mana 3.jpg
The dragon longships land and the Vikings begin to move inland in force. The alarm is sounded and the terrified peasants abandon their fields and flocks and flee to take refuge within the castle. Soon the Vikings are arrayed in front of the fortress in full battle armor.
Shouting the name of "Odin!", the Vikings storm Aella's castle. In a bold move, Einar has several Vikings throw axes at the closeddrawbridge that bars entrance to the castle's keep. Several of the axe-throwers are killed, but enough survive to throw their axes that a "ladder" is created for Einar to climb after he leaps across the moat to the drawbridge.The Vikings location: Naeroyfjord, Norway He gains entry to the keep and lowers the drawbridge so that the other Vikings can overwhelm the outnumbered English. Erik and Einar both set off in search of Morgana. Erik encounters Aella instead and shoves him into the wolf pit.BELOW FORT LA LATTEFile:Fort-la-Latte.jpg
Einar finds Morgana in the highest tower of the keep, and again begins to make love to her, telling her she will be his queen. In spite of her still obvious attraction to him, Morgana tells Einar she hates him, and loves Erik. Enraged, Einar drags her outside and calls Erik to their long-delayed battle. The two bitter rivals engage in a swordfight on top of the tower. Erik is defeated, his sword broken, but Einar hesitates to kill him since he has learned from Morgana that Erik is his half-brother. The hesitation gives Erik, who does not yet know they share the same father, the opportunity to stab Einar with his sword's broken blade. Echoing the scene with Ragnar, Erik gives Einar a sword, so that he too can enter Valhalla. In the final scene, Einar is given a Viking funeral: his body is placed on a longship, which is set on fire by flaming arrows.
  • Kirk Douglas as Einar
  • Tony Curtis as Erik File:Tony Curtis still.jpg
  • Ernest Borgnine as Ragnar
  • Janet Leigh as Morgana
  • James Donald as Egbert
  • Alexander Knox as Father Godwin
  • Maxine Audley as Enid
  • Frank Thring as Aella
  • Eileen Way as Kitala
  • Edric Connor as Sandpiper
  • Dandy Nichols as Bridget
  • Per Buckhøj as Bjorn
  • Orson Welles as The Narrator The Long Ships is a 1964 British-Yugoslavian adventure film directed by Jack Cardiff File:Jack-cardiff-pipe-1.jpg and loosely based on the Swedish novel The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson. It was intended to capitalise on the success of recent Viking and Moorish dramas such as The Vikings and El Cid, and was later followed by Alfred the Great. The film stars Richard Widmark, Thumbnail: click to play  Sidney Poitier, and Russ Tamblyn.The story centres on an immense golden bell named The Mother of Voices, which may or may not exist. Moorish king Aly  File:Maler der Geschichte von Bayâd und Riyâd 002.jpgMansuh (Sidney Poitier) File:Poitier cropped.jpg  is convinced that it does. Having collected all the legendary material about it that he can, he plans to mount an expedition to search for it. When the shipwrecked Norseman, Rolfe (Richard Widmark), repeats the story of the bell in the marketplace, and hints that he knows its location, he is seized by Mansuh's men and brought in for questioning. Rolfe insists that he does not know and that the bell is only a myth. He manages to escape before the questioning continues under torture.
    Managing to return home, Rolfe reveals to his father that he did indeed hear the bell pealing on the night his ship was wrecked in Africa. However, Rolfe's father has been made destitute after spending a fortune building a funeral ship for the Danish king, Harold BluetoothFile:Harald Blaatand.jpg, who then refuses to reimburse him citing an outstanding debt. Rationalising that the ship does not yet belong to Harold (since he is still living), Rolfe and his brother steal not only the ship, but kidnap a number of inebriated Vikings to serve as its crew. In order to prevent Harold from killing his father in revenge for the theft, he also takes the king's daughter as a hostage. Harold declares that he will summon every longship he can find and rescue her. After prolonged difficulties at sea, the ship is damaged in a maelstrom.File:Saltstraumen.jpg The Norse are cast ashore in Mansuh's country. Captured by the Moors, the Norse are condemned to execution but Mansuh's favourite wife Aminah convinces her husband to use them and their longship to retrieve the bell.
    Arriving at the Pillars of HerculesFile:De Zuilen van Hercules Gibraltar en Ceuta.jpg, Rolfe and Mansuh find only a domed chapel with a small bronze bell where the Viking was certain he had heard The Mother of Voices. Frustrated, Rolfe throws the hanging bell against a wall and the resounding cacophony reveals that the chapel dome is the disguised Mother of Voices. After a costly misadventure moving the Mother of Voices from its clifftop down to the sea, the expedition finally returns to the Moorish city, Aly Mansuh triumphantly riding through the streets with the bell in tow. As the group reaches Mansuh's palace, Aminah suddenly cries aloud that "The Long Ships came in the night" and is immediately shot down by a spear. A group of Vikings come leaping out from behind the silent townspeople. These Norsemen are King Harold's men, out to rescue the princess, and the climactic battle ensues. It ends when the bell falls over and crushes Aly Mansuh. The Moors are defeated and the Vikings victorious. The film ends as Rolfe tells King Harold about the "three crowns of the Saxon kings."

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