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Viking Sagas [VHS] (1996)

Ralf Moeller , Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir , Michael Chapman  |  R |  VHS Tape
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ralf Moeller, Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Þórir Waagfjörð, Hinrik Ólafsson
  • Directors: Michael Chapman
  • Writers: Michael Chapman, Paul R. Gurian, Dale Herd
  • Producers: Paul R. Gurian, Snorri Þórisson, Tim Van Rellim
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 23, 1997
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304252307
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,137 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A Viking warrior avenges his father's death against the forces of darkness in an epic action-adventure.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most realistic movie on vikings to date! June 22, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
As a historical student on the viking age, I found this movie very close to what I studied. It has very few flaws and I must admit that seing the movie makes you crave for a trip to Iceland as the scenery is beautiful. Of course this is a low budget movie, so the chieftains'army isn't as big as it should but the costumes are quite adequate to the place and period(good research). The saga itself is wonderfully woven dispite the (I must admit...) average (very average...) acting by a couple of actors but some of them I would like to see in another movie as they reached me for their excellent "role-play". I have not seen any anachronism as to the weapons, armor, use of iceland ponies, clothing, buildings, social values and demeanour. A must see for every viking enthousiast, viking age student and re-enactors!!!
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie that captures the sagas very well June 9, 2005
By Oavde
Format:VHS Tape
If you are interested in the sagas and want to see them as a movie, this is an excellent 5 star attempt at it, and you won't be disappointed. Ok maybe 4.5 stars, but it is very good if you have more than a passing interest in the sagas.

If you are after a more "popular" movie though, perhaps an action movie somewhat related to vikings, then you might only give this 3.5 stars, and call it a B grade movie. Even then you may find it entertaining, but it is not super-fantastic.

The story is interesting, the behaviour of the people realistic, the settings are excellent and authentic (I've been to all those locations and in reality they are even more beautiful) ... they've even used Icelandic horses (with their unique gait) which was good to see.

Very enjoyable, especially if interested in the sagas. Wish they would make more movies of them.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough Viking movies! October 22, 2006
Format:DVD
I do not know why there are not more movies based on great historical events or eras. I speak of films on par with Braveheart, or Rob Roy, for example. There are very few movies based on the Viking age, or having anything to do with Scandinavia for that matter. Unfortunately, most Viking movies seem to be grade "B" affairs, and this is a huge injustice to the complex nature of the Sagas. In the "plot summary" for this site, a stupid reviewer describes it as "a time when conflicts weren't solved with intellect, but with swords". That reviewer obviously has never read a Nordic Saga, and has no understanding of Scandinavian culture. In fact, negotiation and diplomacy were often as highly esteemed as prowess in battle. The differance is, Men of that age were not afraid to stand up to their enemies in combat. In our time, a loud mouth is the only acceptable "weapon".

If literate people were running the production studios in Hollywood, perhaps we would see a lot more films based on the sagas of Scandinavia. The potential for great historical drama is enormous!

This film is loosely based on the Laxardal Saga from Iceland. I found it to be quite enjoyable, and the Icelandic scenery is a major feature. It could have been more than what it is, however, being somewhat of an action-movie, to a degree. It portays the Laxardal Saga characters Kjartan and Gudrun, but does not really portray the story as it is written in the saga.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little slow, but still good. February 22, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
It was great to see the sagas come to life on the screen. The Icelandic sagas are so rich, it was about time someone made a movie similar to them. The sagas make 'The Hatfields and McCoys feud' look like child's play. Very realistic props, attitudes and characters. Ralf Moeller was good enough for 'Gladiator' right? I just wish it could have been more exciting like 'The Thirteenth Warrior'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old and New, Good and bad. August 19, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie was obviously an attempt to create a new "Viking Saga" based on Icelandic saga material. The student of the Sagas will find much that is familiar as some scenes are only slightly modified from Njal's Saga and some characters are clearly modelled on characters from a wide number of sagas. For example Magnus is modelled on Njal, while Gunnar seems to be modelled both on Gunnar in Njal's Saga and Kjartan in the Laxdaela Saga. Kjartan on the other hand seems partly modelled after both Bolli and Kjartan in the Laxdaela Saga. Influence can be seen from those sagas plus (possibly) Grettir's Saga and the Eyrbiggja Saga. The movie generally succeeds at mimicking some of the stylistic elements of the Sagas themselves.

However, the movie seems to fall apart in some other important ways. I found the narration to be at times monotonous, and the good vs evil themes in the movie seemed rather foreign to the genre. The Lawspeaker (a short-term role) was turned into a heredetary Lawgiver role reminiscent of a sacral king, and the fight at the Althing was put in for plot reasons, not because of any case of such a thing happening in the Sagas. These elements significantly detracted from the overall movie. It would be nice to see a much better movie based on the sorts of stories the Sagas excel at-- family histories, tales of the human condition, and the like.

I thought the acting was good and the cinematography well done as well. Worth seeing but not fantastic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on early Icelandic Vikings December 21, 2008
Format:DVD
Within the space of a couple of days I watched both "A Viking Saga: Son of Thor" and "The Viking Sagas". Two very different films despite their similar titles. I am a fan and supporter of low budget historical films and these two films have a lot in common and yet at the same time, are very different. "A Viking Saga: Son of Thor" was done more as a minor educational film, they use that term "educational" a lot in their advertisements and after watching it, it seems more like something funded by a museum than a sincere attempt to do justice to the subject as a full-on adventure film. The film is centered around a longhouse recreation, perhaps the museum I suspect this was done for, and a small group of Viking re-enactors. Amazon's brief description is the whole movie; it is a very simple plot, with constant flashbacks to the attack on the young boy's village as the only major action in the film. The longships on the cover are not in the film, there are only two much smaller ships used for trading. The story is basically a Swedish one, with an emphasis on trading and the river routes down into what was later to be known as Russia. It is a very interesting aspect of Viking history, but unfortunately, it is handled in the most simplistic of ways. Even a die hard Viking fan like me will be hard pressed to appreciate this movie. The concept is excellent from a historical point of view; the execution however seemed to be done very simply and cheaply. I honestly cannot recommend this movie.

"The Viking Sagas" is very different. Not a big budget Hollywood historical epic, it still has a lot going for it. Shot entirely in Iceland, where the story takes place, it is a classic tale of revenge and reversal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Fair, but not great
This is a fairly low budget film that does give a few details of the development of Scandinavian history, but it is not one that I would highly recommend if you are above a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mark Fritch
5.0 out of 5 stars A good visual rendition of an Icelandic Saga
OK, it seemed a bit corny and B-rated at first, but the scenery and historic settings, clothes, and Icelandic cast gives this movie 5 stars.
Published 11 months ago by Beck
3.0 out of 5 stars Viking movie - HAH!!
Service was great no problem there - but I should have listened to the little voice saying " don't buy it, don't buy it, you'll regret it! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gabo81
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible waste of time and money
Bad Acting, Bad Writing, Bad Plot...BAD, BAD, BAD!

You would be better off watching a grade school play than trying to sit through this.
Published 12 months ago by Ryan Bocock
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for Viking fans & I don't mean football.
First and foremost Ralph Moeller is constantly being slammed as a bad actor, I'd like to see you tell him to his face!!! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Leo Hott
5.0 out of 5 stars An accurate version of an Icelandic tale
Not your Hollywood Vikings. Not Vikings in the strict sense at all, really, since it is not about pirates raiding anywhere. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Frederick N. Bosworth
5.0 out of 5 stars As above
This product was received in good order and sent in acceptable time after my order was placed. The subject of the DVD and the reduced price convinced me to place the order.
Published 15 months ago by Danny
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun historic, violent, sexy, and tiny horses - what's not to like?
I'm visiting Iceland this summer and wanted some familiarity with The Sagas. Now I see that they are like many other tales of strength, wisdom, love, lust which make the world go... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Joan C. Cullinane
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of early Norse culture.
Based on various viking sagas, I think that this movie is very well done in so many respects. The acting is good, and the Icelandic scenery and historical accuracy are quite... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Roger Todd
2.0 out of 5 stars There are more authentic Icelandic films
Viking Sagas has Icelandic scenery and actors (thought the dialogue is in English), and the characters ride Icelandic ponies. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Steve
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