Home Hollywood 64 years ago, Hollywood made the most rip-roaring Viking movie ever

64 years ago, Hollywood made the most rip-roaring Viking movie ever


2022 is over Thorough research and brilliant production by Robert Eggers make Virgin Entertainment’s authenticity an iconic year northerner. But if you’re looking for a different quality in a Viking movie, albeit bewildering and vivid in its own way, I have a suggestion.

Richard Fleischer’s 1958 Widescreen Spectacular, Vikings, from a different era, it offered reliable Sunday afternoon movies in an earlier era when you just huddled in front of the TV and watched what was playing. After more than six years, its quirks and performance make it worth a real hunt.

Vikings It’s roaring, a style of filmmaking that seems outdated when Hollywood is split between bleak indie and CGI spectacle. I’ll add a word here for rip-roaring, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “vibrant, spirited, or brilliant”, or as I define it, something involving a big actor making big movements against a big background, especially waterfalls, And, in this case, the fjords.

Vikings problem Celebrating the gloriously eccentric, diverse and inquisitive nature of everyone’s favourite Scandinavian seafarers.

The plot of the Vikings The main focus is on two brothers (who didn’t know they were brothers) fighting over the affections of Janet Leigh’s Welsh princess Morgana. It’s undeniably a Viking love that Kirk Douglas’ Einar wants to grab and force himself on to the princess (at least at first). His antagonist (and secret brother) Eric, played by Tony Curtis, is a slave in very short shorts who also falls in love with Morgana, saving her from Einar’s aggression, only to admit He loves her himself. He revealed this while the two were eating berries, which helped temper his temptation. (The film’s gender roles are definitely outdated.)

Morgana herself was a good Christian, not sure if she could intermarry with the pagan Eric. But she was married to Frank Thring’s King Aella, a man who managed to swing a broadsword with one hand and caress his nipples with the other, so whatever alternative life she made The choices are understandable. In another supporting role, Ragnar (Einar and Eric’s father) is played by Ernest Borgnine, wearing furry trousers and bushy hair. Borgnine eating chicken with his hands is so naturally impressive while watching a man throw an axe at his wife’s braid to see if she’s loyal to him, he makes it feel like one of his in real life Something you would do on a regular Thursday night.

The official poster is Vikings.United Artists/Getty

There isn’t much in the way of “era accent” or “stylistic consistency” in this film’s approach to dialect, but that’s okay. Vikings Full of life. Douglas is an excellent actor. He and Curtis bring dazzling intensity and somber ferocity, respectively, to their characters. Douglas is always surprising on screen, looking like he wants to rip a hole in something, whether he plays Vincent van Gogh or not (desire for lifeCanvas), Studio Supervisor (bad and beautifulBarbara Stanwyck’s dress), Spartacus (Spartacus, the whole of Roman civilization), or, in this case, as the lovelorn Viking, which leads him to want to tear almost everything, including Eric and Morgana. Curtis and Douglas match scene to scene, although for a short time Douglas had to focus on one eye after Curtis’ eagle gouged out his other, making his feat Even more impressive. (Eric would lose his hand, but Curtis is not a craftsman, his eyes and mouth are doing it all, so it hardly breaks his stride).

The image of an eagle on Douglas’s face isn’t entirely convincing, but it’s a creepy idea enough to give the scene its strength. Many other moments are like this. Fleischer’s work doesn’t have the depth of a great epic director, and some scenes tend to be cartoonish. But he keeps things exciting, and the third act is focused and clear when the brothers sail to England to lay siege to a castle and free Janet Leigh.

I wonder if Einar’s use of a throwing axe to climb a castle gate is a real touch, but I’m sure it’s a Hollywood invention.United Artists

The final act of the Viking Wars feels real (slow-moving, heavy, then violent), just as the early scenes of long ships sailing the fjords are truly inspiring. I wonder if Einar’s use of a throwing axe to climb a castle gate is a real touch, but I’m sure it’s a Hollywood invention. The dangers of battle scenes (pre-CGI) do feel real, at least when it comes to the physical safety of the actors. The last battle between brothers, one hand is missing from one eye, real passion rather than a little bit of sadness.

The film was a huge hit upon its release, largely because of its painted visuals. Vikings Shot in Norway and France by the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff.Cardiff also filmed the mesmerizing Powell and Pressberg film red shoes and black daffodils, the latter memorably recreated a Nepalese monastery on the British soundstage. He also brings his eye for expressive color and dynamic composition to the enterprise. Technicolor, at least in Cardiff’s hands, renders the familiar unreal, unfamiliar, height-perfect trance mood in a Viking tale.

What exactly is authenticity?United Artists

Watching the film now, it seems worth it for more than just the technical aspects. Like the show, the story (according to the Viking saga in the novel, Vikings, by Edison Marshall) was advanced. Many of the most problematic lines (“Love and hate are the horns of the same goat,” says the wizarding character in the film) give way to better dialogue (“If I have to cross the sea of ​​poison, I’ll find him”), true Astonishing moments (Einar knocking a priest to the ground with the contemptuous “Save your magic for others, saint”), and even refreshing Scandinavian vistas like when Einar’s ship is in ” “While chasing Eric in the poisonous fog” this hampered the Vikings’ navigational efforts.

What exactly is authenticity? When Kirk Douglas gets that manic look in his eye (or eyes), that’s the real reason you watch it, no matter what. Vikings Efforts are made in authenticity, but we may not be able to identify them. It’s a movie worth watching, preferably on a Sunday afternoon and then remembered, dreamed and falsely remembered years later.

For every moment of glory, there is a moment of stupidity. For every rant, there is something exciting. If that doesn’t feel real, at least it feels like life.

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