Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis lead a solid cast in Richard Fleischer’s magnificently-mounted hard-nosed Norse adventure that was a massive hit at the box office, after doubling its original budget in depicting the Viking Invasions, with a specially constructed village atop a rock in a private Fjord, served by a fleet of longships. Jack Cardiff’s Technicolor widescreen images and superb set pieces set the tone for this large scale – occasionally silly – extravaganza with its glorious battle scenes conveying the legendary splendour of the brutal Viking era as the warriors thrash it out for the throne of Northumbria and a Welsh princess Morgana (the resplendent Janet Leigh), all the time unwitting of their half-brotherhood from their opposite ends of the Viking social hierarchy. Calder Willingham and Dale Wasserman’s script hangs loosely on Edison Marshall’s novel The Viking, but it’s all in the best possible taste, providing light-hearted entertainment of the best swashbuckling kind. MT
NOW AVAILABLE ON BLURAY COURTESY OF EUREKA MASTERS OF CINEMA.