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- Photo gallery with audio commentary by Director Richard Fleischer
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!"
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I use this as a starting point for teaching my 7th graders, it is not too gruesome and there a good many authentic teaching points. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Tracy Cincore
Childhood favourite.....great quality picture and sound. Another DVD for the bin.Published 13 days ago by Mr. William Ogden
Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis as, well, vikings. Janet Leigh as Morgana, oh and Morgana can't row a boat because of her bodice...until it rips. Read morePublished 16 days ago by vinmoet
I was only 8 yrs. old when I first saw this movie!! Wanted to be a Viking immediately! Started my passion for history which I still love to this day. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Thomas M
Not as accurate as I would have loved it to be. However, the movie displayed wonderful imagery and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire viewing. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Tish