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The Viking Sagas (1995)

The film chronicles a long-ago time when men relied not on their intellect to make points, but on their swords. A mythical warrior ('Ralf Moeller (I)') wanders the snow-capped landscapes of... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kjartan
Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir ...
Gudrun
...
Gunnar
Þórir Waagfjörð ...
Bolli
Hinrik Ólafsson ...
Ketil (as Hinrik Ólafson)
Raimund Harmstorf ...
Valgard
...
Eirik
Magnús Ólafsson ...
Bjorn
David Kristjánsson ...
Ketil's Lieutenant
Rúrik Haraldsson ...
Magnus
Bryndís Pétursdóttir ...
Helga
Valgerdur Rúnarsdóttir ...
Loyal Servant
Jóhanna Jónas ...
Kristin
Egill Ólafsson ...
Hrut
...
Drunken Viking
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Storyline

The film chronicles a long-ago time when men relied not on their intellect to make points, but on their swords. A mythical warrior ('Ralf Moeller (I)') wanders the snow-capped landscapes of the North territories on an arduous quest for vengeance. Amid nobles and schemers, saints and brutes, and lovers and fools, this Viking swings his sword for his family's honor, his beloved's hand, and the very survival of his pitiless culture. Written by rottentomatoes.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For the love of his woman. For the honor of his family. For the survival of his people.

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal and bloody Viking combat, and for some sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Icelandic Sagas  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Gunnar: Do you know what will cause your own death?
Magnus: Yes, something that no one would expect from a lawgiver... I will lie.
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User Reviews

 
Frankly, I expected more
14 May 2008 | by (California) – See all my reviews

About the best thing that can be said about this movie is that the cinematography is stunning, which is to be expected in a film made by an Oscar-nominated cinematographer like Michael Chapman. You get a real sense of how a rugged, towering country like that shown can turn out rugged, towering people. It's too bad you can't get that sense from the people themselves.

Ralf Moeller, who was so impressive in "Gladiator", is much less so here. His stock in trade is his magnificently chiseled body, which was showcased to great effect in "Gladiator". Here, though, he doesn't even take off his shirt until almost halfway through the movie, which makes you wonder if the filmmakers hired him for his acting skills (he's earnest, but he makes Arnold Schwarzenegger look like Laurence Olivier) or his fighting skills (not in evidence at all, even after he's supposedly trained by "the best warrior of all the Vikings"), since they pretty much kept his physical attributes under wraps for much of the film. Not so with Ingibjorg Stefansdottir, Moeller's love interest, who kept very little under wraps (not that there's anything wrong with that). She has several somewhat gratuitous nude (well, topless anyway) and sex scenes, but other that that, she doesn't impress much, either. What's most unimpressive, however--and the most disappointing aspect of the film, IMO--are the "action" scenes. Another poster has described director Chapman as "clunky", and that word fits the battle scenes like a glove. They're listless--even though the participants shout, grimace and yell at each other a lot--and, frankly, badly done, with very little flair, panache or even excitement to them at all. There are scenes of various limbs and heads being lopped off among great spurts and rivers of very Karo-syrup-looking blood, but they're by-the-numbers and you can see them coming a mile away--there's no "gaaah!" factor (as in "gaaah! that guy just got his head split in half!") to them, as there was in, for example, "Braveheart". As for the story itself, well, the plot is your standard "he killed my father and I will avenge his death!" tale, but the film is so choppy, convoluted, badly put together and, in some cases, hard to understand that it's difficult to follow the plot even though you know exactly what it is and exactly how it's going to turn out.

If you can't tell, I was really very disappointed in this film. The subject matter lends itself well to a sweeping, rugged spectacle, with snarling villains, gorgeous women in distress, ferocious battle scenes and everything you'd come to expect in a Viking picture. There was little of that here. I understand that the filmmakers wanted to be as accurate as possible in their portrayal of the Vikings of the time, but they didn't have to make it so, frankly, boring. Worth a watch, maybe, but it's not one that you'd want to see again any time soon.


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