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The Last of the Vikings (1961)

L'ultimo dei Vikinghi (original title)
Unrated | | Action, Adventure, War | May 1962 (USA)
Harald and his brother Guntar return to Norway to find their father murdered and his throne usurped. They try to take revenge on Sveno, but a traitor amongst them puts both brother's lives at risk.

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(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
King Sveno
...
Hilde
Hélène Rémy ...
Edith / Elga
Andrea Aureli ...
Haakon
Mario Feliciani
Aldo Bufi Landi ...
Londborg
Carla Calò ...
Herta
Corrado Annicelli ...
Godrun
Nando Tamberlani ...
Gultred
Nando Angelini ...
Simon, uomo di Sveno
Piero Gerlini
George Ardisson ...
Guntar (as Giorgio Ardisson)
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Storyline

Harald and younger brother Guntar return to Norway after a 10-year voyage to find their father murdered and his lands now ruled by the villainous Sveno. As part of his plan to rally the Vikings against this tyrant, Harald disguises himself as the Danish ambassador and enters Sveno's stronghold. There, he falls in love with Hilde, Sveno's cousin, who's been betrothed against her will to the Danish king. Harald must devise a new plan when Guntar is captured by Sveno and when the real Danish ambassador arrives on the scene. Written by dinky-4

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roaring In From The Sea!!!!!! Brawling! Boisterous! Barbaric!!!!!!

Genres:

Action | Adventure | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

May 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last of the Vikings  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Telecolor)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa #33967 of February 3, 1961. See more »

Quotes

King Sveno: [speaking of Harald] I'll make him die a slow death. I want a drop of his blood for each of our soldiers he's killed.
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User Reviews

 
LAST OF THE VIKINGS (Giacomo Gentilomo and, uncredited, Mario Bava, 1961) **1/2
10 July 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

With this, I start a clutch of reviews in honour of Mario Bava's centenary; I plan to watch a comprehensive marathon of his vast (and often uncredited) body of work – incidentally, virtually the only title I will be missing out on is the similar ATTACK OF THE NORMANS (1962), which I own solely on VHS recorded off Italian TV but whose tape I have been unable to track down in time! As it happens, I have a comparable copy of the film under review (with which it shares leading man Cameron Mitchell) – but, for this second viewing, I opted to check out the English-dubbed version off "You Tube"…which was not so bad as these things go, despite having to make do with washed-out colours and rampant panning-and-scanning!

Anyway, the movie was not only Mitchell's debut European venture (which, among others, led to as many as six collaborations with Bava) but the first of several "Norse operas" to emerge from Italy, clearly in the wake of the classic Hollywood spectacle THE VIKINGS (1958) – belying the film's very title, which generally implies (but is seldom the case, if ever) that a definitive statement was intended! Among those that came after it were two by Bava and with Mitchell himself, namely ERIK THE CONQUEROR (from the same year) and KNIVES OF THE AVENGER (1966). Interestingly, another offshoot "series" of THE VIKINGS dealt with various fighting people (such as Mongols and Tartars) that included not only the above-mentioned ATTACK OF THE NORMANS but THE COSSACKS (1960) as well – which had Edmund Purdom for villain and who reprises the same duties here, albeit in far more caricatured (read: scenery-chewing) terms! Indeed, the script seems to suffer from undigested gobs of Shakespeare – as Purdom's evil Scandinavian king was clearly modeled on Richard III, while a supporting character is egged on by his ambitious wife towards laying claim to the Viking throne a' la "Macbeth" and Mitchell himself displays a Hamlet-like tendency towards dragging of feet in exacting his vengeance! Plotting is otherwise quite routine (a revenge-seeking hero, impersonation, a romance that runs less than smoothly, betrayal, torture, the inevitable righting of wrongs, and what have you) but this type of crowd-pleasing fare is hardly expected to be anything more.

That said, the movie is certainly enjoyable thanks as much to the always welcome genre trappings (in the form of the vivid medieval atmosphere, a handful of violent skirmishes, the Vikings' rowdy behavior and lusty disposition, etc.) as the inferred histrionic approach (with even Mitchell – prone to calling Purdom's royal "Schven" – and younger sibling Giorgio Ardisson – the two would play unknowing twins in the subsequent ERIK THE CONQUEROR – tending to ham it up!). I would imagine that the latter picture, over which Bava had greater control, was the better overall effort but, really, none of the director's peplums constitute major achievements, let alone masterpieces! Amusingly, the Viking call sounded on the horn here felt awfully familiar to my ears – and I would not be surprised if it were lifted outright for ERIK itself!


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