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Einar and Eric are two Viking half-brothers. The former is a great warrior whilst the other is an ex-slave, but neither knows the true identity of the other. When the throne of Northumbria in Britain becomes free for the taking, the two brothers compete against one another for the prize, but they have very different motives - both involving the princess Morgana, however. Written by
Graeme Roy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The three Viking ships in the film were designed using blueprints for an actual Viking ship salvaged from the water and restored by a Viking museum in Norway. It turned out that the boats built for the film were too accurate, because the modern actors were taller than their historical counterparts. Every other oar hole had to be plugged so the modern men would have room to row with a full oar stroke. Otherwise, they would hit the backs of the oarsmen seated in front of them when pushing the oar handles forward to start each new stroke. See more »
The Northumbrian flag, a complex banner flying from the tops of Aella's castle towers, would not have existed in this period. The Viking age preceded formalized heraldry by centuries. Northumbria did have a flag, as many pre-heraldic kingdoms did, it was a counterchanging banner of 8 vertical stripes, red (or purple) and gold. It is also unlikely that Aella's soldiers would've had shields bearing heraldic devices. If the shields (a red 'X" on a white background) were meant to signify St. George's Cross (which today stands for England in the UK's Union Jack), that is also anachronistic. The symbol was not used until centuries later and it was a cross (vertical & horizontal members) instead of a saltire (diagonal members). See more »
If you touch me. I'll kill myself.
There's a sword to do it with. Because I'm going to touch you. Come on! Kick! Bite! Scratch! Come on!
I will not lift one finger to resist you.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: PROTECT US OH LORD FROM THE WRATH OF THE NORTHMEN See more »
Two Viking half brothers (who are unaware that they are related) fight over Welsh Princess Morgana, who has been captured during a raid in England while en-route to marry the King of Northumbria.
A handsomely mounted historical epic in the old tradition. However, a great deal of effort was made to achieve accuracy in terms of clothes, villages, ships, weapons etc. The stunning Norwegian locations add to the authenticity, and are breathtakingly photographed in Technirama by master cinematographer Jack Cardiff.
Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine all give strong performances, although the characters are hard to like. The level of brutality is quite surprising for a film made in 1958, and the overall atmosphere is one of harshness.
While the film is perhaps not quite in the league of 'Spartacus' or 'El Cid' in terms of epic status, it is admirably authentic, unsentimental and vigorous.
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