The Vikings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Vikings Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2015
Well made but very forgettable.
May 17, 2015
As the film began it seemed to me that it was a typical 50's epic without any of the directorial wit of Curtiz, Wyler, DemIlle, etc. While the directing isn't sharp, it at least has plenty of verve. The rest of of the production makes up for the weak directing with glorious Technicolor, beautiful location shots, and the obviously big budget costumes and props. It's a 50's spectacle film for sure, but Kirk Douglas's performance makes it something more. As great as Leigh, Curtis, and Borgnine are; they're mostly ho-hum characters with little interest. It's Douglas's performance as the womanizing brawny man that gives the picture serious spice. Douglas is so complex and brilliant that by the end you're rooting for HIM to beat Curtis's good character! It's partly the writing that ensures Douglas is not stereotyped like his co-stars, but its mainly his spirited personality that makes us love him. It's the same genius of his that one can see on display in other films like Wilder's "Ace in the Hole" or Kubrick's "Paths of Glory."
April 1, 2015
A very entertaining movie! It has a very authentic look to it and I enjoyed the loads of Vikings yelling, "Odin!"
December 29, 2014
Protect us Oh Lord from the wrath of the north men.

Einar and Eric are secretly brothers separated at birth due to tragic events in history. They are strong Viking men, but one brother is from nobility and one is a slave. When a seat of power becomes available, they both are eager to claim the crown. There is an added bonus for the winner, the hand of Princess Morgana. The two brothers will do everything in their power to obtain these prizes.

"Is this the way slaves talk to Vikings?"

Richard Fleischer, director of Tora Tora Tora, Conan the Destroyer, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Red Sonja, Mr. Majestyk, See No Evil, and Doctor Dolittle (1967), delivers The Vikings. The storyline for this picture is just okay and seemed like a poor man's version of the Greek mythology movies from this time (Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, etc). The acting was solid and the cast is an impressive list of names including Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, and James Donald.

"His words cannot hurt you."

I came across this film on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and saw the cast and had to DVR it. Unfortunately, this was just relatively interesting and worth following. I was hoping for more from this film and thought the cast would deliver an epic darkage picture; unfortunately, this was kind of bland. Overall, this may be worth watching once but I wouldn't go too far out of my way to see this.

Grade: C+
October 28, 2014
A little weak on the plot, but overall it was enjoyable. The theme song will get stuck I. Your head though! There was some beautiful shots of Norway fjords and the castle they sieged at the end.
½ April 27, 2014
unfortunately the film falls short of it's potential.
March 29, 2014
Saw this yet again on a cable channel in a hotel in Moscow. It was dubbed into Russian (which I don't speak) which is more than apt as the first Rus where in fact Vikings.but I watched the movie anyway with just the visuals, the tone of voice, the music and a little lip reading.
It was still great!
Not only is it a fine adventure, beautifully filmed and directed and (mostly) finely acted - but it has Kirk giving it his full heroic and emotional range. It is a film that was ahead of its time (except for the haircuts, wigs and false beards) but it has stood the test of time.
December 8, 2013
This movie has become a Christmas tradition in my household. Every single year since I was born I have watched this film so much so now that I can probably remember all the words. It has pace, a traditional love story, two rivals neither of whom knows the truth of what they mean to each other - and an evil (of course British) king. This will be one of those films which will continue to stand the test of time throughout the ages.
½ November 1, 2013
Just felt like Douglas was trying too hard to take over every scene and storyline.
August 29, 2013
The Vikings directed by Richard Fleischer and produced by Jerry Bresler - art director Harper Goff - cinematography by Jack Cardiff. Film stars Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh (Psycho) and Ernest Borgnine. Adapted from the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall - the screenplay was written by Calder Willingham and Dale Wasserman.

Film was consulted with historians from the University of Oslo, and some blueprints of Viking Ships from Viking Museum served as the basis for ships seen in the movie. Film sheds its light on the rowdy lifestyle of Vikings, the drinking, messy and ugly eating behavior and axe-fights
Set in 8th or 9th century somewhere near the England (GB - Great Britain) - the film is narrated by Orson Welles, the story follows Viking king Ragnar (Ernest Borgine) and his son Einar (Kirk Douglas) as they attempt to kidnap Princess Morgana (Janet Leigh). But Einar falls for her, and then so does Viking slave Eric (Tony Curtis), who also turns out to be the illegitimate son of Ragnar from queen whom he impregnated long ago in a raid in which he killed the king.

The Vikings is near perfect on giving us best understanding on the lifestyle and engagement of theirs - someone less familiar with these infamous people must check out The Vikings. Movie bears strong performance from Ernest Borgnine and Kirk Douglas. Starts to send chills with its outstanding locations selected in Norway for filming in the beginning - dialogues are superb to be entertained and raise our excitement. Fort de la Latte castle a famous tourist attraction in France, was depicted as residential castle of the king of England.
July 16, 2013
A classic example of how to make an epic film, The Vikings is storytelling at its best: engaging, exciting, and phenomenally produced.
June 18, 2013
Pretty solid but i was hoping for a little more epicness. Its hard to believe pretty boy tony curtus can hang in a fight with the strapping kurk douglas. Janet Leigh looks great in this movie and i want to nominate earnest borgnine for the greatest laugh in film history. Its the story is oedipus with a few tweaks.
June 1, 2013
What I really like about this movie is that it carries the spirit of all the old historical epics, right down to the narration. Being that it takes some artistic liberties, I'm more inclined to regard this as a historical fantasy. There's some damn fine acting, and the story does a good job of fleshing out both the characters and the society they live in. There are some good sword-fighting scenes, and film's overall style seems authentic. Best of all, it's not as long as Ben-Hur.
½ March 20, 2013
The story is not top notch, nor the history, but it is a rousing nonetheless.
½ March 13, 2013
a cult classic for certain. It has the same level of brotherly comradeship found in Errol Flynn's Robin Hood. The acting is good and the soundtrack is unusually good for a film of that era. The cinematography is pretty good as well. Really, I think that the major things holding this film back are weak direction and a rather lacking script. I find Tony Curtis to be very boring in general and this film was another manifestation of that.

I would like to put in a good word for the woolly boots that the Vikings wear. The costume department did a superb job with those. All of the costumes were very good come to think of it.

Possibly the biggest selling point for this film is that it FELT like Vikings all the way through. They kept talking about Odin and other cultural things which gave the film a ton of charm.
February 7, 2013
Directed by Richard Fleischer, (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Soylent Green (1973)), this is a very epic and grand adventure film based on the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall, which in turn was based on the sagas and poems of Ragnar Lodbrok. It's the kind of old fashioned adventure that came from this era, and it has a grand and epic cast to it's name as well. After the King of Northumberland dies, the new heir to the throne is the kings cousin Aella (Frank Thring) is the new heir to the throne, but Viking King Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine) had it off with the late King's widow, when the child is born, Ragnar sends the infant boy to Italy. Years later, now a man, Erik (Tony Curtis) goes to Norway with nobleman Lord Egbert (James Donald), to help Erik in his claim to the throne, but Erik immediately incurs the wrath of his half-brother Einar (Kirk Douglas), Ragnar's legitimate son and heir. Then, matters are further complicated when both Erik and Einar fall for Princess Morgana (Janet Leigh), who is engaged to be married to King Aella. It's a big epic soap opera, but it is very entertaining, even though it's stars either keep their American accents or they don't, but it is a compelling and lavish adventure film, complimented with some brilliant cinematographer by Jack Cardiff and a heroic score by Mario Nascimbene.
½ February 4, 2013
Kirk Douglas as the bad guy in the movie about Vikings, I call that awsome
January 1, 2013
I've always been facinated with vikings,...and especailly since I knew my ancestors came from that part of the world...sweden. It's another one of those mystical places, that one dreams of, that sends us into worlds unknown. Great movie!
½ September 30, 2012
They still somehow managed to work in a very uninteresting love story.
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