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Erik the Conqueror (1961)

Gli invasori (original title)
Two estranged brothers confront each other as rivals when war breaks out between Britain and the Vikings for control of England.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Oreste Biancoli (story), Piero Pierotti (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cameron Mitchell ... Eron
Alice Kessler Alice Kessler ... Rama
Ellen Kessler Ellen Kessler ... Daya
George Ardisson ... Erik - Duke of Helford (as Giorgio Ardisson)
Andrea Checchi ... Sir Rutford
Jean-Jacques Delbo Jean-Jacques Delbo ... Olaf (as Jacques Delbò)
Franco Giacobini Franco Giacobini ... Rustichello
Raf Baldassarre Raf Baldassarre ... Blak (as Raffaele Baldassarre)
Enzo Doria Enzo Doria ... Bennet
Gianni Solaro Gianni Solaro ... Ranco
Franco Ressel ... King Lotar
Livia Contardi Livia Contardi ... Hadda
Folco Lulli Folco Lulli ... Harald - King of the Vikings
Françoise Christophe ... Regina Alice (as Françoise Cristophe)
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Storyline

In the 9th Century, two Viking children, separated since their early childhood with one raised by the British and the other by Vikings, meet after nearly 20 years as rivals as war breaks out between Britian and the Vikings for control of England. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Battle plan - MASSACRE! Executed with SADISTIC SAVAGERY See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

12 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Erik the Conqueror See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameron Mitchell's voice is dubbed by another actor in the English-language version. See more »

Goofs

When the vine bridge breaks, Eron grabs the vines and swings toward the rocky wall of the chasm. At the moment of the impact, the "rocky" surface wobbles visibly. See more »

Quotes

Eron: In death, I have but one companion: my sword.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hercules vs. the Giant Warriors (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bava Does Vikings
6 September 2017 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

In the 9th Century, two Viking children, separated since their early childhood with one raised by the British and the other by Vikings, meet after nearly 20 years as rivals as war breaks out between Britain and the Vikings for control of England.

The film is a loose remake of the American film "The Vikings" (1958), starring Kirk Douglas. Credit was not given at the time, which really is not out of the ordinary for Italian productions. Just look at the endless string of "Jaws" ripoffs. Bava's film borrows the estranged twins idea, the duel alongside the castle, and the showing of a viking funeral. Interestingly, to get around his lack of budget, the biggest change is setting much of "Erik" underground because on-location (Norwegian) settings were just not possible. "Erik" also has a similar plot to Sergio Corbucci's "Duel of the Titans" (1961), though that setting was Rome rather than northern Europe. Most likely, Corbucci was ripping off the same source.

As far as casting goes, Cameron Mitchell is the definitive American "star" of Italian films. During the 1960s, Mitchell starred in numerous Italian sword and sandal, horror, fantasy and thriller films, several of which were directed by Mario Bava, including "Blood and Black Lace" (1964) and "Knives of the Avenger" (1966). He also participated in Spaghetti Westerns, like Corbucci's "Minnesota Clay". (In Hollywood lore, Mitchell's claim to fame was introducing Marilyn Monroe to Arthur Miller.)

Then we have the German-born Kessler Twins, who were big hits in Europe at the time. In the States, the Kessler Twins were not as popular as they were in Europe but soon appeared in Robert Aldrich's "Sodom and Gomorrah" (1962, while Aldrich was in exile) as dancers and appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in that year. Did "Erik" help get them the part in the Aldrich film?

Anyway, "Erik the Conqueror" is a fine film in its own right, even if we acknowledge its lack of originality. There is an epic ship battle that rivals anything in the more contemporary Disney "Pirates" franchise, for example, and the various techniques to create a big-looking film are admirable. Bava knew how to push the limits of budget, and this paid off. The film made back two or three times its production cost. Oddly, though we know Bava for his horror work, in Italy the horror genre was not terribly popular and the "sword and sandal" theme was a bigger draw. (Mitchell claims that Bava never had an unprofitable film. Whether this is true or not I don't know, but none come immediately to mind.)

The Arrow Video Blu-ray offers a brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative. Viewers are given the choice between the original Italian and dubbed English mono audio. There is a new audio commentary by Bava expert Tim Lucas, who reveals some of the interesting matte techniques used and declares this Bava's "most underrated film". Heck, we even get "Gli imitatori", a comparison between "Erik the Conqueror" and "The Vikings", as well as the film's original ending. This release is bursting with love.


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