Nantan Movie Minute 3 – The Vikings. A couple of classic Viking movies – The Long Ships (1964) and The Vikings (1959).
Vikings – A word that sets off a sense of wonderment in the imagination of any true American. They were possibly the first Europeans to visit North America. Vikings are resurging in popular culture with the success of the History Channel’s Vikings. This TV shows follows Ragner Lothbrook on his adventures.
However, there are a couple of classic movies that cover the same subject with interesting twists. The first of these is The Long Ships (1964). The Long Ships cast Richard Widmark as hard charging Viking Rolfe in an epic struggle with Sidney Poitier as a Moor. Both men want to obtain the Mother of All Voices, a solid golden bell that is located in the Pillars of Hercules, today known as the Straits of Gibraltar. They go on their quest with Russ Tamblyn along as Orm. Russ adds excitement with his acrobatic moves. You may remember Russ from Westside Story and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I won’t spoil the ending but the scene with the bell is not to be missed.
The other film is The Vikings (1959) which cast Ernest Borgnine as Ragnor. His sons who are half-brothers were played by Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis. The two sons, one a warrior and the other a slave, are vying for the affection of an English princess played by Janet Leigh of Psycho fame and of course Night of the Lepus. James Donald does a credible job as a disloyal duke that lives with the Vikings. Frank Thring who you may know as Pontius Pilate or King Herrod did a fine job as the sleazy usurper of the English throne.
So you don’t need to go to the History Channel for your Viking lore. It’s out there waiting for you in classic movies.
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