Brief Reviews of Northmen Films and Norsemen Flicks
Looking for a good movie about Vikings? Well, Northmen Films or
Norsemen Flicks are hard to come by. For Scandinavian Media and
Nordic Entertainment is rare, here, in America. But, over the years,
a few notable ones have come about. And these we have briefly
reviewed, below, for your information.
The leader of Viking Movies is, of course, Prince Valiant, which is
the legendary tale of the Days of King Arthur, when the Christian
King of Scandia was driven into exile to Britain. And his son,
Prince Valiant, attempts to become a Noble Knight of King Arthur,
only to stumble upon the plot of the Black Knight to enlist the aid
of Vikings to over-throw King Arthur. Mediavel melee and combat,
political intrigue, and romance--with the help of Faith. Considered
to be the BEST film on Vikings.
Robert Wagner as Prince Valiant, with Janet Leigh as the beautiful
buxum blonde Aleta. Based on the comic PRINCE VALIANT by Harold
Foster. By Twentiieth Century Fox. General Audiences.
This is a blood thirsty saga of lust and intrigue in the Dark Ages
when the Vikings used to readily invade, and pillage and plunder, Old
England. The hedonistic Viking Chieftan Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine)
raids England, murders the King, and rapes the Queen Enid who then
produces him a secret son. The baby boy is shipped off to Europe,
only to be captured by Viking Raids and taken to Scandinavia as a
slave, where fate brings him to Ragnar's Court and to antagonize
Ragnar's other son, Einar (Kirk Douglas). A plot is hatched to
abduct the Welsh Princess, Morgana (Janet Leigh), for ransom, but
Einar takes a fancy to her, only to have the slave, Eric (Tony Curtis)
kidnap the Princess, too, and attempt to take her back to England
(only to fall in love with her for himself), and causing his own
father, Ragnar, to be murdered for entertainment in the wolf pits of
England! Thus, bringing the wrath of the Vikings down upon the evil
english King! A bloody, violent film (with rape and attempted rape)
and segments dedicated to the old Norse gods and use of runes for
fortuen-telling! But, beautiful shots of the Viking fjords, viking
ships, and a charicature of the Pagan Viking life. (The film
mistakenly attriputes the navigational skills of the Vikings to a
Pagan witch's discovery of the magnetic compass, a totally fictional
and historically inaccurate piece of the film--see
MYSTERY OF THE SON STONE.)
Tony Curtis as the slave Eric, Janet Leigh as the Welsh Princess,
Kirk Douglas as the drunkand, lusty Viking Prince Einar, and Ernest
Brognine as the decadent Viking Chief. By MGM - United Artists.
Not rated (but surely hard R).
As the Vikings expanded, the Pagan Vikings went Westward, into
England and Northern Europe, while the more Judeo-Christian (Messianic)
Vikings or Varangians went Eastward, into Russia. There, according
to this tale, an exiled Arab Merchant (Antonio Banderas) meets a band
of them (though Pagan rather than Believing), and then gets drafted
to go along with with on an adventure, into the far North, to fight
off these mysterious bear-like creatures--berserkers! And, in the
process, he civilizes(?) some of the Vikings, endures some gruesome
combat scenes, and wins the attentions of a nubile, blonde Viking
maiden. A fanciful tale, yet reasonably well done--but with hints
of Paganism (and inaccurate portrayal of Varangians as Pagan Vikings)
and consultations with OLD WOMEN for advise and direction (rather
than consulting God)--though God is presented, from a Muslim
Antonio Banderas as the Arab Merchant, Ahmed. From Touchstone
Pictures. Rated R (for violence and gore).
(For more on the Varangian atmosphere of co-operation between
Jews, Christians, and Muslims, see KoReY's TRI-UNITY OF THE FAITHFUL.)
As the Vikings made a habit of raiding England, they eventually
came to settle there as the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons. Later, the
Normans (French Vikings) came to control all of England. This
classic story portrays the frictions between the earlier Saxons and
the later Normans (as well as the common mistreatment of the Jews
by both sides). The Saxons King's son, Ivanhoe (Anthony Andrews)
returns from crusades in the Holy Land with King Richard to find
himself disinherited by his father, his true love, the Princess Rowena
(Lysette Anthony) betrothed to the "noble hog" Athalstan, and
Richard's own throne in jeopardy due to the intrigues of his brother,
Prince John. Mortally wounded in a Tournament, Ivanhoe is rejected
by the Saxons, but taken into the care of the rich Jew (James Mason),
where he is nursed back to health by the lovely Jewess (Olivia
Hussey)--meanwhile, Robin Hood encounters King Richard in disguise,
as the Saxon Jestor enlists their aid in rescuing his Master from
the imprisonment by the goons of Prince John.
Anthony Andrews as Ivanhoe, Lysette Anthony as the fair Rowena,
Olivia Hussey as the lovely Jewess, and James Mason as the rich Jew.
From Columbia Tri-Star Home Video. Not rated, but probably around
PG, for violence (mild romance).
THE VIKINGS -- PBS Series
This documentary shows the recent advances in Viking Archaeology,
including Russia's rediscovery of their Viking or Varangian past,
along with more evidence to show that the Vikings really did reach
America in their explorations. (As well as the shocking enviromental
discovery that Iceland used to be a dense forest, but with Viking
settlement and over-grazing, it has been turned into a treeless
ERIK THE VIKING
This is the wild and fanciful tale of Erik the Viking who misses the
Sun, and sets off on an adventure to find the horn to wake up the gods
to have them restore the Sunshine to Scandia's frozen, gray skies.
Battle with a sea monster produces a flying Viking ship that lands
in the legendary land of peace, where political intrigue (and Viking
raiders) bring down the house--as the island is doomed to sink beneath
the waves, as the mythical Atlantis did--IF BLOOD IS SHED!
Entertaining Sci-Fi like adventure with adult hunor and satire. (The
Norse gods are made fun of as petty little children--and the priest of
the adventure comes to save the day!)
For more on Our Mediavel Artwork (shields, buttons, etc.) see
MORE ABOUT VIKINGS AND ANCIENT SCANDINAVIA?
Then, look up Our Viking Quick Facts Sheets. (Tons of data and info on
the REAL Vikings!) Or, use the handy link, below:
- QUICK VIKING FACTS -- Short summaries
on Our VIKING REVIVAL (and Scandinavian Renewal)
Further Contacts with Our VIKING REVIVAL:
Can't find what you are looking for? OR, have a comment or
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- VIKING MOVIES
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Filed: 5-24-99 . . . Updated 03-20-03