The Long Ships (1964)

 |  Adventure  |  24 June 1964 (USA)
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Reviews: 62 user | 18 critic

A vagabond Viking adventurer and a Moor both compete to find "The Mother of All Voices," a legendary golden bell near the Pillars of Hercules.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Aly Mansuh
Oskar Homolka ...
Edward Judd ...
Beba Loncar ...
Clifford Evans ...
King Harald
Colin Blakely ...
David Lodge ...
Henry Oscar ...
Paul Stassino ...
Jeanne Moody ...


There is a legend about a great bell, called "The Mother of Voices," made of pure gold, three times the size of a man, made by monks many years ago... This is the story told in the marketplace by a Viking called Rolfe. This information finds its way to the Islamic ruler Aly Manush, who is obsessed with finding the bell. But Rolfe claims not to know where the bell is, and escapes, back to his homeland, to convince his father and brother to give him a ship and crew to replace the one he lost - or to help him steal the Death Ship which belongs to the king - because he does know where the bell is... Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bell | gold | viking | boat | death | See All (65) »


The Greatest Viking Adventure Of Them All!




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Release Date:

24 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raubzug der Wikinger  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Richard Widmark turned the film down four times before finally agreeing to do it on the condition that good friend Sidney Poitier do the part of the villain, a piece of casting that producers initially objected to. See more »


The devil was not part of the Vikings' religion. See more »


Arab at bazaar: [to Rolfe] How can one believe a man with eyes as pale as yours?
See more »


Featured in Cinema Komunisto (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A rousing action/adventure movie for a treasure lost for centuries, the richest prize in the world…
2 September 2007 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

"The Long Ships" is the story of a mighty gold bell "as tall as three tall men," the one people call the Mother of Voices, cast long ago by the monks of Byzantium…

Prince Aly Mansuh had searched from the mountains to the sea for the bell… Now he must know what lies beyond the horizon until Allah's divine guidance leads him to the treasures of Islam…

Prince Aly's wife Aminah thinks that her husband is chasing a legend, a fairy tale that has already cost them dearly in lives and gold… But the prince is no dreamer… He is sure that the bell does exist and it rests somewhere in this world, in a Christian land… For him it was stolen by the Christian armies when they plundered their way across his cities to the dishonor and humiliation of his ancestors…

In that morning, the obsessed Moorish prince is informed by his guards that a stranger in the market knows the whereabouts of the golden bell… The stranger is arrested and taken to a tower for interrogation… The stranger assures to the prince that he knows nothing but stories and legends, and swears that, out in the market he was trying to earn some money for food and shelter… He also said that he is a sailor, a dreamer, a Norseman, a Viking who was shipwrecked and was simply trying to get back to his homeland…

Richard Widmark is the true Norse warrior who swallowed the ocean… He tells his father that he has returned because he needs another ship and another crew… Rolfe said that he had found the bell… He heard it booming away like a god's hammer on a mountain of ice… Nothing else would've brought him back after losing his ship… That ship cost his father the tribute money he owed the king…

Sydney Poitier promised Rolfe that he would not be prepared to die so calmly… He shall give him an example of real courage that comes from authority, 'his' authority… Aly Mansuh asks Lady Aminah to select one of his guards to be the first to feel the kiss of steel before the Viking…

Rosanna Schiaffino could offer Rolfe and his comrades the chance to live and to sail from these shores as rich men… With fire in her cheeks, Lady Aminah looked lovely as the most envied woman with eye-catching legs…

Orm (Russ Tamblyn) asks the great Odin what did they do that he turns his rage against them ruining his father…

Gerda (Beba Loncar) is the beautiful snow princess taken as a hostage and whom to be sacrificed as a maiden to lift the curse of the death ship…

Krok (Oskar Homolka) is the old, ruined man who asks himself how a thane whose entire fortune consists of two gold pieces, find or even equip another ship…

King Harald (Clifford Evas) practically stole the ship build by Krok's men… He cheated the broken man in giving him two gold pieces for his funeral ship, the difference between the ship's price and two years' tribute he owes him…

Sven (Edward Judd) is the sailing master to King Harald of Norseland who really thinks the ship is cursed for being a funeral ship… He commands the sailors, these 'greedy devils' to turn back or they'll be hanged in the king's name…

With great stars, mutinous sailors, beautiful cinematography, and a look at a Moorish harem, "The Long Ships" remains another fine Viking adventure with a lot of humor and fun…

32 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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