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The Vikings (1958)

Kirk Douglas , Tony Curtis , Richard Fleischer  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

Price: $44.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald
  • Directors: Richard Fleischer
  • Writers: Calder Willingham, Dale Wasserman, Edison Marshall
  • Producers: Jerry Bresler, Lee Katz
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2002
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062XF2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,463 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Vikings" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Photo gallery with audio commentary by Director Richard Fleischer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Kirk Douglas produced the trendsetting barbarian epic The Vikings and took the showiest, most aggressive role: lusty Viking prince Einar, the "only son in wedlock" of King Ragnar (a cackling, wild-eyed Ernest Borgnine). With jagged scars down his face and a milky-white blind eye that almost glows in his skull, Douglas has a rowdy time battling defiant slave Tony Curtis (the long-lost heir to the British throne) for the hand of the beautiful princess Janet Leigh. It's pure Hollywood hokum, sure, but spectacular hokum: the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff turns his Norway locations into a lush Valhalla on earth. Faced with an absurd story, journeyman director Richard Fleischer goes for the gusto in brawling Viking parties, furious sieges, and clanging broadsword battles. An enormous hit, the film spawned a huge wave of Viking movies, some perhaps smarter but none as much fun. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Hollywood legends Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine and Janet Leigh dazzle in this epic chronicle of brutal rivalry and bloodthirsty ambition. Roaring through the 9th century with powerful performances and "brilliant visual drama" (Cue), The Vikings is a riveting "spectacle of have-at-'em action" (Los Angeles Examiner)! Bitter hatred divides two brothers. Prince Einar (Douglas) is the son and heir of a savage Viking chieftain. Prince Eric (Curtis) is his unknowing half-brother, the bastard offspring of Einar's father and an English queen. When the Vikings kidnap a princess (Leigh), her beauty inflames the desires of both men, forcing a bloody duel thatdecides their fate and the future of the English throne.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Swashbuckler July 21, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Historically, 'The Vikings' is largely nonsensical, from its title sequence misapprhension of the centuries-later Bayeux Tapestry to its hash of the succession to the throne of Northumberland. But this film is great good fun! - a superior swashbuckler with a sound plot, breathtaking art direction, costuming, sets, & cinemaphotography, & solid acting & direction.
Kirk Douglas gives a menacing yet humane portrayal of the Viking prince Einar whose falcon-disfigured milky eye inspires fear & loathing. Tony Curtis is, as far as looks go, perhaps a bit miscast but his energetic, seething performance amply redeems his presence. Ernest Borginine's Ragnar is fabulous - and one should keep in mind that Borgnine gave Ragnar life long before this sort of Borgnine role later turned him into a caricature of himself; Ragnar gives the film terrific heart & vitality. Janet Leigh is just...beautiful, despite the script's relegation of her female lead role into what is chiefly a plot device to motivate the action scenes. James Donald succeeds at fleshing out his character, but some of his lines are the only clichés in the script & yet he manages to rise above them with his careful elocution. And the ever-malevolent, narrow-eyed Frank Thring (Pontius Pilate in 'Ben-Hur', & a creep in 'Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome') does yeoman service as the conniving, spineless pretender to the throne. Alexander Knox's small role as the priest isn't much dramatically, but it's pivotal in the plot development, & his diction is at its customary excellence. Also memorable is the rune-reading Viking woman saga-teller whose moonlit face & sepulchral voice in the tidal crab-nibbling scene give the plot & its Norsemen their spiritual anchor.
The DVD's special features are interesting, informative, & enjoyable.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the epic Age of Epics... May 26, 2002
Format:DVD
I've always had an admiration for this film, ever since catching it once or twice on the Saturday Afternoon TV Movie. Is it corny? Sure, but who cares? We see so much of the color and spectacle of Viking life, it's easy to forget that these are all actors living in the Viking village built above a fjord in Norway. Douglas and Borgnine are the perfect, living embodiment of Vikings, too! Borgnine's Ragnor is unforgettable in his over-the-top, fun portrayal of a man larger than life.

As others have mentioned, the art direction is beyond compare, with highly researched and accurate detailing wherever possible. Exteriors were all shot entirely on location in Norway, lending even more authenticity to the film by showcasing the beautiful mountains and waterways of the Viking homeland.
The great Mr. Welles narrates the opening segment, and it was a pity he did not leave us with extened remarks at the end of the film to tie everything together (a minor quibble from an acknowlegded Welles fan).
Included on the disc is a thirty minute restrospective by director Richard Fleischer, as he shows us rare still photographs, and explains what the cast and crew went through to film this Viking epic.
One shot in particular that I have always loved in this film is the man high atop the horn tower, signalling the return of the Viking king, as his boat sails the blue water far below. Another shot I like, at the end, the camera is on top of a castle pinnacle, and we see it pan around to follow the actors below on the walkway. Here, in two of the stills, we see how these shots were captured by Fleischer, and I was struck by the fact no director today would have the guts or imagination to try either.
Everything blazes off the screen in the perfect DVD transfer. After watching this epic on DVD, you'll feel the urge to cry out... "Odin LIVES!"
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fifties Vikings Tale! September 23, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ah, a personal wish fulfilled is the re-issuing of this film onto the DVD format. Although I have long had the older VHS version of this classic fifties romantic sword and sorcery trendsetter, I was recently amused to find it now listed in the DVD catalogue. Odin be praised! This was a formative film in my childhood, a monstrously popular box office hit that had all of us pre-adolescents entertaining ourselves for months clashing in back yards using make-shift stick swords and purloined garbage-can covers for shields as we fought out our own imagined action sequences. Indeed, everything about this film is attractive and appealing; the wonderfully photographed sequences along the fjords, the jaunty and majestic music, and the quite authentic long ships and settings.
The cast adds to the fun with a star-packed line-up. Kirk Douglas looks appropriately Nordic (neat trick for the son of Russian Jewish immigrants), and more than acts out the part of the Viking prince, Einar, the eldest son and heir to the barbarian legacy of his outrageously roguish father, Ragnar, played masterfully by a full-bearded Ernest Borgnine. Tony Curtis adds a little blue-eyed soul to the cast as the star-crossed illegitimate heir to the English throne, and the quite lovely Janet Leigh (who at the time was Mrs. Tony Curtis) is the prized after English princess both the male principals have the urge to merge with. The scenes inside the Viking lodges are hilarious; the sequences in which a drunken Douglas has to successfully cut off a lover's braids from twenty yards with a battle axe without decapitating the lady in question to prove she wasn't unfaithful is spell-binding to experience. Terrific vicarious excitement for all of us overgrown kids in the audience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great Flick Kirk and Tony really fought on the top of that tower.. No fake effects,. Awesome job guys.
Published 5 days ago by Joe Yannotta
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!
Great movie! All my children loved it too!
Published 10 days ago by Miriam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good
Published 10 days ago by Antonio L Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Vikings!
Classic movies!
Published 13 days ago by BB
1.0 out of 5 stars Too violent for my taste. I didn't finish watching ...
Too violent for my taste. I didn't finish watching it and sold it to a used book store.
Published 14 days ago by corntrader19
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great adventure movie.
Published 1 month ago by Larry L Bryant Sr
3.0 out of 5 stars Good flick
Movie is good but smearing of picture in some places. Not sure what causes this but have seen it in other movies that I bought from Amazon.
Published 1 month ago by Jackie Marsh
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like your Vikings Historically Accurate, this is the Beginning.
One of the First Historically Accurate Viking films, and a Beloved Favourite.
It still stands as a Favourite today !!!
Published 1 month ago by Jim Stillman
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good movie.
Published 1 month ago by ReneinMiami
5.0 out of 5 stars Runes, Fiords, Barbarianism--A Great Sampling of the Vikings (and...
Loved it! What a great flick with a terrific story line; excellent foreshadowing! Educational in that it shows much of the Viking culture, etc -- runes, fiords,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BJB
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