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The Long Ships (1964)

Richard Widmark , Sidney Poitier , Jack Cardiff  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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The Long Ships + The Vikings + Ulysses
Price for all three: $68.50

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Russ Tamblyn, Rosanna Schiaffino, Oskar Homolka
  • Directors: Jack Cardiff
  • Writers: Berkely Mather, Beverley Cross, Frans G. Bengtsson
  • Producers: Denis O'Dell, Irving Allen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese, Georgian
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000095WW6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,559 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Long Ships" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Looking for a rousing Viking adventure that's cheesy and entertaining? The Long Ships is just the movie for you. As England's greatest color cinematographer, Jack Cardiff had filmed 1958's The Vikings, so he was well-prepared to direct this exciting, occasionally grisly mini-epic (a British/Yugoslavian coproduction, filmed in Yugoslavia), which received mixed-to-favorable reviews when released in 1964. Back then, it was a perfect matinee marvel if you were young and impressionable, and it's still worth its weight in hot buttered popcorn. While that most contemporary of actors, Richard Widmark, is clearly out of place as a maverick Norse warrior, he's sufficiently valiant as he guides his Viking brother (Russ Tamblyn, still hot from West Side Story) and a long-ship full of warriors in search of a huge, solid-gold bell coveted by Mansuh (Sidney Poitier), a Moorish prince obsessed with retrieving the legendary bell at any cost. Treacherous maelstroms, lovely damsels, corny battles, and casual humor make The Long Ships a lot of fun--like a Ray Harryhausen adventure without the animated creatures. (Oh, and Mr. Poitier? James Brown called... he wants his hair back.) --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

THE LONG SHIPS is a rollicking, action-packed Viking adventure saga starring Richard Widmark (Best Supporting Actor Oscar(r) nominee, Kiss of Death, 1947) and Sidney Poitier (Oscar(r)-winning Best Actor,Lilies of the Field, 1963). Viking brothers Rolfe (Widmark) and Orm (Russ Tamblyn, West Side Story)steal the Norse king's funeral ship as well as his beautiful daughter, Gerda (Beba Loncar), and head off in search of the fabled "Mother of Voices," a huge solid-gold bell "as tall as three tall men." The brothers battle a maelstrom, a mutinous crew and vengeful Moorish troops led by Prince El Mansuh (Poitier). Highlighted by rousing battle scenes, daring escapes and humorous interludes, Time magazine stated THE LONG SHIPS has "more enjoyable bloody foolishness than many an epic costing three times as much."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Viking--Where is the Bell ? ! July 1, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had not seen "The Long Ships" since it was released theatrically 40 years ago--yet it left a lasting impression. Of course, I am delighted that Columbia has issued this beautiful DVD--wide-screen, gorgeous colour--it is a treat to look at !

I think some of the negative reviews must come from people who took this movie far too seriously. What we have here is good, old-fashioned "hokum"--the actors knew it--the director knew it--so lighten up, and enjoy this rousing, exciting adventure.

I'm sure that Widmark and Poitier realised that they were not going to win Oscars for this movie--but sometimes even the best actors like to do things that are fun ! I suspect that Widmark was in his 40s, yet like that other famous "viking"--Kirk Douglas--he obviously stayed in shape, and acquits himself well in the action scenes. Mr. Poitier must have had a ball, wearing an outlandish wig, and flowing "Moorish" robes.

Movie buffs will see many familiar faces in this one, although--in a number of cases--they may not be so apparent at first. Terrific character actor, Lionel Jeffries, with heavy make-up and a top-knot, is the eunuch guarding the harem ( not too well ! )--his purpose is clearly comic relief. Stalwart British actors, David Lodge and Edward Judd, are "on board" as thick-bearded vikings. Another viking is played by that quintessential Scotsman, Gordon Jackson--I suppose some Scots might have travelled to Norway ? Clifford Evans ( on leave from Hammer Films ? ) is dignified as the viking king. Russ Tamblyn, always an acrobatic, athletic force, has his moments as the younger viking brother. Rossana Shiaffino and Beba Loncar are beautiful women--but that's all.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Viking movie I have seen! January 12, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
A yarn of long ships and tall men. The long ship: one especially constructed as King Harald's funeral ship. The hero: Richard Widmark, a ne'er-do-well as crafty as Odysseus. His father: Krok, a tremendous beer-swilling thane, builder of the long ship. King Harald dupes Krok, paying him a mere two gold pieces for his two years of effort. So Rolf (RW) and his brother Orm consider it fair to steal the long ship to search for a legendary golden bell, "as tall as three tall men" to recoup their fortunes. To guard against reprisals against their family while they are absent, Rolf and Orm also kidnap the king's lovely daughter. Thereby is the stage set for the search for the bell, the pursuit by the king, and the exciting clash with the Moors, led by Sidney Poitier. If you like action and adventure, you must see this movie!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Matinee Entertainment July 6, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I think that this DVD (super transfer)proves a point that there is still a market for this form of entertaiment and without a doubt is far superior to most of the trash we get nowadays in the cinema. Its not that often one can say that this is a Family Movie and a very good one at that. I cant wait for more titles like this
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth more than a look September 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
One of those movies that you can lose yourself in and enjoy tremendously, even though . . . . Sidney Poitier is rather stiff, and everyone talks in 20th Century colloquial American English, but the scenery is great, the story absorbing, the music stirring. No, this is not AFI 100 stuff, but sometimes, you just don't care and want something like this.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Viking Flick From Valhalla June 24, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
A real comic book of a movie with a bizarre cast, nonsensical script, shaky special effects, repetitive music yet a striking visual style with occasionally impressive direction. The Long Ships is one of those films that is so awful that it becomes enjoyable - a real Saturday afternoon popcorn flick that would make a great double bill with that other misguided epic - Taras Bulba.
I'm always amazed that Hollywood has not made more films about the Vikings, especially after the success of Kirk Douglas's film in the late fifties. The Long Ships seems a poor relation in comparison - I'm sure the ships were the ones left over from The Vikings. The director of The Long Ships - Jack Cardiff - was director of photography on The Vikings. But there the similarity between the two films ends.
The heroes of this soggy saga are two all-American Norsemen - Richard Widmark and (!) Russ Tamblyn (the only ones without beards) - who lead a motley crew of English, Irish and Scottish Vikings whose thane is a Hungarian (the always watchable Oscar Homolka). The bad guys, by an incredible plot device, are the Moors of North Africa led by an unsmiling and uncomfortable Sidney Poitier. At least the rest of the cast know that the film is tongue in cheek (just listen to the dialogue) but Poitier is so gravely serious that you suspect he is auditioning for Othello. The wonderful British character actor Lionel Jeffries is blacked up as a comic mute eunuch in what must surely be the strangest piece of casting of the century. The female members of the cast were obviously selected for their physical charms rather than any acting ability - and what a great pity it is that Rosanna Schiaffino ever changed out of her initial costume.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Published 6 days ago by sheila santoy
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy Movie, Italian Fiords instead of Norwegian, serious ...
Cheesy Movie, Italian Fiords instead of Norwegian, serious comical unrealistic battle scenes. I feel sorry these quality actors were subjugated to those producers.
Published 18 days ago by Eddie the "C"
3.0 out of 5 stars Who Will Be Forced to Ride The Mare of Steel?
Over acting by Richard Widmark but Sidney Poitier with long, wavy hair is interesting to say the least.
Published 24 days ago by Don Shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 29 days ago by HUGH STEPHENS
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live Portiers films and movies !!!
As a conisueir of the old "hero movies" it was as outstanding as ever. I had been watching a version of the movie that was on VCR format. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Wes Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars This is another great Vikings movie with an interesting story
This is another great Vikings movie with an interesting story. If you liked the movie The Vikings, you will like this one as well. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bill
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a film I remembered and enjoyed from my younger years
Definitely a film I remembered and enjoyed from my younger years... but very dated in acting and misunderstanding of viking history. Read more
Published 1 month ago by craig e. weis
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Its O.K.
Published 2 months ago by FB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 2 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars The DVD was perfect.
Didn't think I would find this one.
The DVD was perfect.
Published 2 months ago by Kay Comeaux
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