The Vikings (1958)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Inspired by the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall, The Vikings was lensed on location in Norway under extremely adverse weather conditions. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that star Kirk Douglas and director Richard Fleischer never quite found a common ground, and for years thereafter would hold each other responsible for the film's falling short of its potential. Still, the finished product is quite a feast for the eyes and ears. Douglas, the son of Viking leader Ernest Borgnine, carries on a film-length feud with slave Tony Curtis, who, though he does not realize it, is actually his illegitimate son. This personal battle comes to a head when Douglas and Curtis both lay claim on captured English princess Janet Leigh. The scene everyone remembers in The Vikings finds Borgnine, at the mercy of wicked monarch Frank Thring, defiantly throwing himself into a pit of ravenous wolves. Launched into distribution with one of the splashiest ad campaigns in United Artists' history, The Vikings proved an enormous success; it inspired the 1959 TV series Tales of the Vikings, which utilized the film's props, costumes and scale-model ships. In 1964, The Vikings served as the inagural presentation of ABC's Sunday Night Movie series.
Rating:
G
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM Home Entertainment

Cast

Janet Leigh
as Morgana
James Donald
as Lord Egbert
Alexander Knox
as Father Godwin
Frank Thring
as King Aella
Eileen Way
as Kitala
Edric Connor
as Sandpiper
Dandy Nichols
as Bridget
Almut Berg
as Pigtails
Per Buchhij
as Bjorn
Orson Welles
as Narrator (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Vikings

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

The Vikings is spectacular, rousing and colorful.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

It is the best advertisement for beer-drinking since the breweries put wrestling on TV.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Plenty of pillaging, axe-throwing, hearty quaffing of ale, storming of castles, heroic jumping into wolf pits, and manly talk about the glories of entering Valhalla with sword in hand.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

In a perfect world, Richard Fleischer's rowdy Norway-set super-production would be in regular 70mm rotation at our few surviving repertory movie houses.

Full Review… | March 11, 2016
Slant Magazine

The real stars are the production people

Full Review… | March 21, 2010
Old School Reviews

Directed with brawn over brain by Richard Fleischer.

Full Review… | September 10, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Vikings

½

Not bad

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

This is a cool movie about Vikings as played by Douglas and Curtis. The movie is really exciting and the story is great, it's pretty accurate, and very dramatic as well. I enjoyed this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Just a great epic that never lost it's sense of fun and imagination. A lot of that goes to Kirk Douglas who is the epitome of the legendary Viking, he's a brutal drunken savage. However, he's also a great character and full of emotion rather than being just a stereotype. What also makes it great is the amazing set design, costumes and score. On top of that, the story is so well done and not typical of just another love & war story. The castle invasion is probably one of the greatest battle scenes, you don't get better action than that.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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