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The 13th Warrior (1999)

A man, having fallen in love with the wrong woman, is sent by the sultan himself on a diplomatic mission to a distant land as an ambassador. Stopping at a Viking village port to restock on supplies, he finds himself unwittingly embroiled in a quest to banish a mysterious threat in a distant Viking land.

Directors:

John McTiernan, Michael Crichton (uncredited)

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), William Wisher (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Banderas ... Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan
Diane Venora ... Queen Weilew
Dennis Storhøi ... Herger - Joyous (as Dennis Storhoi)
Vladimir Kulich ... Buliwyf - Leader
Omar Sharif ... Melchisidek
Anders T. Andersen Anders T. Andersen ... Wigliff - King's Son
Richard Bremmer ... Skeld - Superstitious
Tony Curran ... Weath - Musician
Mischa Hausserman Mischa Hausserman ... Rethel - Archer
Neil Maffin ... Roneth - Rider
Asbjørn 'Bear' Riis Asbjørn 'Bear' Riis ... Halga - Wise (as Asbjorn Riis)
Clive Russell ... Helfdane - Fat
Daniel Southern Daniel Southern ... Edgtho - Silent
Oliver Sveinall Oliver Sveinall ... Haltaf - Boy
Sven Wollter ... King Hrothgar
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Storyline

A cultured diplomat joins a band of savage warriors in time to meet an even more fearsome enemy in this historical adventure. In 922 A.D., Ibn Fadlan (Antonio Banderas) is a Muslim emissary from Baghdad en route to meet with the King of Saqaliba when he is captured by a gang of Vikings. While Ibn and his people are intelligent and well-mannered, the Vikings are a rowdy and sometimes unpleasant lot, with an unquenchable appetite for food, alcohol, and women. However, in time he develops an understanding and respect for the Viking warriors and is welcomed into their society by their leader, Buliwyf. However, Ibn must now join them as they return to their homeland once they receive word of an invasion by a huge pack of bloodthirsty invaders who will destroy and eat anything in their path -- including the flesh of the men they have killed.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

arab | viking | warrior | combat | battle | See All (167) »

Taglines:

An Ordinary Man...An Extraordinary Journey! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody battles and carnage | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin | Swedish | Norse, Old | Danish

Release Date:

27 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eaters of the Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,267,756, 29 August 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,698,899

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Touchstone Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film never explains who the "mist monsters" actually are. In the novel, they were the descendants of the Neanderthals. See more »

Goofs

The rope Edgtho slides down connecting the tree to the watchtower suddenly appears. See more »

Quotes

[before the final battle, Weilew brings a wrapped bundle to Olga, waiting in the cellar of the Great Hall, with the village's children]
Queen Weilew: When the time comes...
[She unwraps the bundle to reveal a set of daggers. Olga takes the bundle and hastily covers it again]
Queen Weilew: *Don't* let them be taken!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version, known as Eaters of the Dead and Directed by John McTiernan was originally 127 minutes and slated to be released in May of 1998. But when the film failed test screenings Michael Crichton took over the project and reshot and added new material to the film. He was also involved with the reediting of the film as well and rejected composer Graeme Revell's hour long score. This version of the film has not been seen publicly. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Legends of Tomorrow: Beebo the God of War (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Beowulf meets Die Hard
17 January 2005 | by GafkeSee all my reviews

In the early years of the 10th century, an exiled Arabian nobleman falls in with a band of Vikings. Disgusted by their poor hygiene and their barbaric ways, he nevertheless reluctantly agrees to accompany them to a distant kingdom, where an unspeakable menace terrorizes the land.

This is an interesting interpretation of the tale of Beowulf, with the monster Grendel transformed into the fierce Wendol, a tribe of cannibalistic Neanderthals who have somehow survived long past their time. Despite the fact that Banderas is the title character and credited as the star, he is not the hero here at all. The band of 13 is led by the huge and intimidating Buliwyf (read Beowulf), a hero among his people who must battle both the Wendol and their deadly "mother." Alexander Gudonov lookalike Vladimir Kulich is the hero of this film, and delivers a strong, amazing performance. Banderas spends much of the film bumbling, stumbling, screwing up and trying to keep up with the Vikings, who look upon him with contempt but finally, perhaps grudgingly, accept him.

Okay, so it's not entirely historically accurate and suffers from production problems and an occasional overdose of testosterone, but it's not a bad movie by any means. The casting is great, with standout performances by the aforementioned Kulich as well as Dennis Storhoi as Herger, Banderas's translator and only friend; the handsome Scottish actor Tony Curran (in an unlikely kilt, but who cares?!?!) as the Celt Weath and the woefully underrated Richard Bremmer as the intimidating tattooed redheaded (and damn sexy!) Skeld. The film was worth watching for these three men alone, but then, I am female and perhaps a bit prejudiced in my opinions. These guys are HOT! But, I digress...

Beautiful scenery, tense and bloody battles and a claustrophobic climax in a bone strewn cave lift this movie well above average. There's something for everyone here; fans of horror, fans of action, fans of classic literature should all find something to enjoy about this film. It may not be the best film ever made, but its still one of my very favorites.


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