The Vikings (movie, 1958)

The Vikings ( The Vikings ) is an American film of Richard Fleischer released in 1958 .


Around 900 , the Vikings led by their leader Ragnar routinely ravage Northumbria in England. In an attack, the King of England is killed and Ragnar violates Queen Enid. From this illegitimate union, Eric will be born. The child is kidnapped by Brown, a Viking, while he was going to be taken to Italy to be protected from King Albert. Eric fails as a slave in the village of his father and his half-brother Eynar, the legitimate son of Ragnar. Ignorant of their kinship, the two men devote themselves to a fierce hatred, increased tenfold by the obstinate conquest of the beautiful Morgana, a Welsh princess promised to King Aella, a stealthy deceiver, whom the Vikings have kidnapped in the hope of ransom. It is delivered by Eric. He also has the good fortune to capture Ragnar, whom he offers to King Aella almost in exchange for Morgana. Ragnar is going to end his days in the Wolf Pit but Eric, who still does not know how to be his son and only owes him, at the last moment, to slam his bonds and hands him his sword: Ragnar then dies as a true warrior. Eric will have his hand cut off for this stance, which will not prevent him from returning to the Viking clan to offer an alliance to Eynar: Eric will guide the Vikings through a sordid fog, Eynar will guide his men to battle. The two brothers dismiss for a time their rivalry. But, bastion taken, Morgana delivered, they clash again. Eynar, having heard of this fraternity which would bind him to his enemy, holding him at his mercy, has a moment of hesitation immediately put to good use by Eric, who has not received the confidence of the wind. Eynar dies as a warrior, sword in hand. Eric orders a Viking funeral.

Technical sheet

  • Title: The Vikings
  • Original title: The Vikings
  • Director: Richard Fleischer
  • Scenario: Calder Willingham and Dale Wasserman (adaptation)
  • From the novel by Edison Marshall
  • Production: Jerry Bresler and Lee Katz as associate producer (uncredited)
  • Distribution: United Artists
  • Music: Mario Nascimbene
  • Photography: Jack Cardiff and Walter Wottitz (second team)
  • Editing: Elmo Williams
  • Set Design: Harper Goff
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Genre: Adventure , War , Historical
  • Format: Color ( Technicolor ) – Sound: Mono (Westrex Recording System)
  • Format: 2.35 X 1.
  • Duration: 116 minutes
  • Release dates:
    •  United States :( New York ), (national release)
    •  France :


  • Kirk Douglas (VF: Roger Rudel ) : Einar, Ragnar’s son
  • Tony Curtis (VF: Jean-Claude Michel ) : Erik, the slave, illegitimate son of Ragnar
  • Janet Leigh (VF: Claire Guibert ) : Morgane, the promise of the English king Aella, in love with Erik
  • Ernest Borgnine (VF: Pierre Morin ) : Ragnar, the Viking king
  • James Donald (VF: Jean Claudio ) : Egbert, the English traitor, allied with the Vikings
  • Alexander Knox (VF: René Arrieu ) : Brother Godwin
  • Maxine Audley (VF: Jacqueline Ferriere ) : Queen Enid, mother of Erik
  • Eileen Way : Kitala, the witch
  • Frank Thring (VF: Jean-Henri Chambois ) : Aella, the English king
  • Edric Connor : Sandpiper
  • Orson Welles (VF: Yves Montand ) : the narrator (uncredited)

Around the film

  • The film was shot in the Lim Fjord , Croatia.
  • The sequence of the castle was turned in France at the castle of Fort-la-Latte .
  • Ernest Borgnine playing Kirk Douglas’s father is actually his youngest son of more than a month.
  • The cartoon that begins and closes the film is inspired by the Bayeux tapestry . It is an anachronism because it relates essentially the battle of Hastings and the victory of William the Conqueror.
  • The three drakkars were built on the model of a real ship on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo . They had to be modified because the man of the 1950s was probably bigger than an average Viking.
  • A television series Tales of the Vikings was shot after the film’s success.

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