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Roy Del Ruth
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John Francis Dillon
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Yes, it's true, an all color silent movie! The title refers to Leif Ericsson, who leaves Norway to search for new lands west of Greenland. On the way he vies for the love of Helga with his companion Egil and Alwin, an English slave. More conflict arises when he stops at the colony of his father (Eric the Red) in Greenland, for Leif has converted to Christianity, which his father hates. He also has to deal with the unrest of his crew, who fear falling off the edge of the Earth. Written by
Robert Tonsing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"A thousand years ago, long before any white man set foot on the American shore, Viking sea rovers sailed out of the north and down the waterways of the world." "These were men of might, who laughed in the teeth of the tempest, and leaped into battle with a song." "Plundering
ravaging - they raided the coast of Europe - until the whole world
trembled at the very name "THE VIKINGS!"
"Looking out upon the North Sea from the cliffs of England, stood the castle of young Lord Alwin, Earl of Northunbria." Here, good-looking young LeRoy Mason (as Alwin) and his subjects hope their Christian faith will protect them from Viking marauders - but the Lord has other plans for this group (and, you'll know what God has in mind when you see the placement of Christian crosses in North America). The looting and killing Vikings ravage Mr. Mason's English castle. Valuables are taken to Norway, where able-bodied men and women are sold into slavery.
Mason is purchased, for three pieces of silver, by beautiful red-haired "sea rover" Pauline Starke (as Helga Nilsson). The comely Viking lass is obviously buying slave Mason with sexual pleasures in mind, and throws him some lusty looks. Mason proves to be too spirited and independent for Ms. Starke to control, and he is given to guardian Donald Crisp (as Leif Ericsson), the famed Viking leader. A courageous Christian-converted warrior, Mr. Crisp hopes to claim Starke as his bride. But, handsome Harry Lewis Woods (as Egil the Black) is also in love with Starke.
This love quadrangle goes on Crisp's great seafaring adventure to discover, and claim, the "New World" for European conquerors - at the risk of falling off the edge of what they thought might be a very flat Earth. "The Viking" (it should have been titled "The Vikings") is briskly directed by R. William Neill, with moderate action throughout. Either he or Starke should be complimented (or condemned, if you will) for the movement of her character's legs, upon introduction; you don't see this often - and, it's IN COLOR!
Specifically, "Technicolor" - which is this film's mail calling card. While not perfect, the color is strikingly well-preserved. As a bonus, it was made during the "silent film" era, and survives with its original synchronized sound effects score. This level of coloring was painstakingly produced, and was quite expensive. "The Viking" represents a peak in the art of color filmmaking.
******** The Viking (11/2/28) Roy William Neill ~ LeRoy Mason, Pauline Starke, Donald Crisp, Harry Woods
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