6.8/10
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24 user 4 critic

When the Raven Flies (1984)

Hrafninn flýgur (original title)
An Irish man seeks vengeance against the vikings who killed his parents.

Director:

Hrafn Gunnlaugsson
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jakob Þór Einarsson Jakob Þór Einarsson ... Gest
Edda Björgvinsdóttir Edda Björgvinsdóttir ... Gest's Sister
Helgi Skúlason Helgi Skúlason ... Thord
Gotti Sigurdarson Gotti Sigurdarson ... Einar (as Gottskálk D. Sigurdarson)
Flosi Ólafsson Flosi Ólafsson ... Erik
Egill Ólafsson Egill Ólafsson ... Thord's Brother
Sveinn M. Eiðsson Sveinn M. Eiðsson ... Guard
Gunnar Jónsson ... Erik's Retainer
Þráinn Karlsson Þráinn Karlsson ... Olaf the Childlover
Anna S. Karlsdóttir Anna S. Karlsdóttir ... (as Anna Karlsdóttir)
Abba M. Jóhannsdóttir Abba M. Jóhannsdóttir
Anna Reynisdóttir Anna Reynisdóttir
Arnaldur Friðgeirsson Arnaldur Friðgeirsson
Ármann Ingason Ármann Ingason
Birgir Guðjónsson Birgir Guðjónsson
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Storyline

Ireland: Vikings pillage the land, seeking silver and slaves, slaying men and women in the process. A young boy is spared when a Viking takes pity on him instead of killing him. Iceland 20 years later: The boy returns to take his revenge on the killers, the Norwegian foster brothers; Thord and Eirik, by cunning and hidden weapons. Written by Stle A. Olsen <sao@idt.unit.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To him the vengeance was all that mattered - to her forgiveness (Swedish theatrical tagline)

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Iceland | Sweden

Language:

Icelandic

Release Date:

25 April 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When the Raven Flies See more »

Filming Locations:

Iceland

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film contains several nods to the Icelandic sagas, medieval prose narratives of heroes and family histories of the viking age. The vikings setting fire to the enemies' house in order to force them out and kill them is a common tactic in sagas like "The Story of Burnt Njáll", "Eyrbyggja Saga" and "Sturlunga saga". The stealing of a horse dedicated to a god and the religious angst that follows harkens to the fate of Hrafnkell Freysgoði, protagonist of "Hrafnkels saga". Thord's and Erik's exile to Iceland due as political refuges from king Harald Hairfair, the supposed first king of Norway, bring to mind the reason for Norse migration to Iceland presented in Landnámabók and the family of Egil in "Egil Skallagrímsson's Saga" and the family of Ketill Flatnose in "Laxdæla saga". "Landnámabók" is also brought to mind by the viking who refuses to kill Gestur as a child, much like Olaf the Childlover of "Landnámabók". A mysterious stranger named Gestur brings to mind the title character of the legendary saga "Story of Norna-Gest". Erik's broken necklace, used as a sign between him and his father to ensure that a messenger carrying it is indeed their messenger is borrowed from a broken coin which serves a similar function in "The Saga of Gisli". See more »

Quotes

Olaf the Childlover: What are we supposed to do with this one?
Thord: He is young. The journey would kill him.
Björn: Kill him. He is old enough to have seen to much.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hellsaga (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Á Sprengisandi
Written by Sigvaldi Kaldalóns
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Showdown at the O.K. Corral, Iceland.
18 March 1999 | by morpheus-27See all my reviews

Powerful viking movie shot on Iceland, using a cowboy manuscript for sure! The mowie portrays the cruelty, tenderness, pride and extreme violence of that era, with great reality. Still there is that bit of the lone gunman out on the prairie,(here knife-thrower on the island Iceland) which just adds to the magnificent story of revenge. Gest (main character) comes to Iceland seeking revenge over the men who slaughtered his parents and kidnapped his sister in a viking raid in Ireland. Here he finds that his sister has married one of them.

Psychologically fast paced, as is the chain of events. Daring new use of music for this genre of movie, at times not all that successful.


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