Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Action, Adventure
  • 1958
  • 110 mins

The Vikings

The Vikings

Synopsis

Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh star in an epic tale of rivalry set in Viking-era Britain. Massive in scale, scope and ambition, it's a triumphant blend of fighting, drinking and good old-fashioned manly action

About

A massive box-office hit on its release in 1958, The Vikings blazed a trail for the grand, historical epic. Even now, decades later, it's a remarkably impressive spectacle built around some vast action sequences and equally large performances by a couple of old Hollywood titans.

Narrated by Orson Welles, the story follows Viking king Ragnar (Borgine) and his son Einar (Douglas) as they attempt to kidnap Princess Morgana (Leigh). But Einar falls for her, and then so does slave Eric (Curtis), who also turns out to be the illegitimate son of Ragnar.

Sporting some impressive facial scarring, Douglas gives a gloriously rambunctious performance. Leigh smoulders and displays an unusual amount of flesh for the period while Curtis proves an impressive action man, despite at one point becoming separated from his hand. It's the sheer scale of the thing that's striking however, director Fleischer relocating to Norway, using life-size long ships and guiding the fight sequences as if his life depended on it. Yet despite the dedication to visual authenticity there's never a moment when you imagine the cast are anything other than A-list Hollywood superstars, and that's a large part of the appeal of this fabulously overblown epic.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Ernest Borgnine, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, James Donald
  • Director: Richard Fleischer
  • Screen Writer: Calder Willingham, Dale Wasserman
  • Producer: Jerry Bresler
  • Photographer: Jack Cardiff
  • Composer: Mario Nascimbene

In a nutshell

Verdict Highly entertaining and slightly camp historical adventure full of great stunts, larger-than-life characters and splendidly OTT dialogue.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Black Nativity

    Jacob Latimore, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett star in director Kasi Lemmons' seasonal drama.

  • Film4

    August: Osage County

    John Wells directs this star-studded adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe, Bug).

  • Film4

    Northern Soul on Film4

    Elliot James Langridge and Josh Whitehouse star in Northern Soul, playing on Film4 for the first time.

  • Film4

    Marvel Triple Bill on Film4

    Film4 brings you a special Marvel triple bill this Christmas, starring Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten

    Film4.com Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with Film4.com editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share