A "Romeo and Juliet" story that takes place in the late 16c. Ukraine. Taras has settled into comfortable farm life after years of adventures and swashbuckling with his cossack companions. ... See full summary »
J. Lee Thompson
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 <email@example.com>
There was actually a kingdom called Northumbria, whose history undoubtedly formed part of the basis for the novel from which the movie was made: It was formed about AD 616 by the union of two smaller kingdoms, Bernicia and Deira, with Edwin, son of the Deirian ruler Aella as its first king. In AD 867, it came under Viking control when conquered by two brothers, Ivar and Halfdan Ragnarrson, and integrated into Danelaw - a Viking kingdom already established in Britain. The now-earldom of Northumbria was later divided between two rising kingdoms, Scotland and England. The English portion becoming known as "Northumberland." See more »
When Einar(Kirk Douglas) boards the ship he has captured he lifts up Morgana's (Janet Leigh)maidservant Bridget (Dandy Nichols) and throws her into the arms of a fellow viking it is clearly a stunt double and not Nichols being thrown . 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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