30 thoughts on “The Vikings (1958)

  1. one of my fave Sunday afternoon films EVER! Da-daaaa-da, da-daaaa-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    And the bit where the bloke jumps in the wolf pit! And the bit with the hawk! And the plait-chopping and the crabs and and and and
    What does your old man think of ‘The Long Ships’ from five years later, with Richard Widmark and Russ Tamblyn? I LOVES IT TOO

    1. Yes, the theme song that’s supposed to sound like it’s played on lur horns! I can’t forget it. I think I need to force my poor husband to watch some of this thing.

  2. I vaguely remember that I had watched it and vaguely remember liking it. I also thought that the costumes were okay-ish.

    I think the Bullet Bra deserves it’s own snark post. Say – Bullet Bra the Bra that Conquered….

    But my favourite Kirk Douglas frock flicks are Lust For Life and Spartacus.

    Btw how are costumes for Carnivale coming along?

    1. I think there should be a complete snark week on improper bust support through the decades.Remember that Jane Seymour dress from the Tudors”thy udders proclaim thy fertility”…

  3. This looks like a pretty impressive attempt at historical accuracy, especially for the 50’s. I have a hard time reconciling Kirk Douglas with the claims that he raped Natalie Wood when she was sixteen though. I hate that we’ll never know one way or another what actually happened.

  4. One of my mother’s favorite movies—and mine, too. Never considered the costuming while watching as a kid, but happy to hear they were somewhat accurate, unlike myriad other 50s movies. And… yay for Tony Curtis thighs. You see them in Spartacus and Taras Bulba as well. :)

  5. Those are pretty good costumes! And I just love that it’s the men who are showing skin! 😉
    Of course the women really should be wearing hangerocks, apron dresses, over their kirtles and both should hang loose from the shoulders but nobody can expect Hollywood to hide the leading lady’s curves!

    1. From what I’ve read, directors had a hard time keeping the clothes ON on these two leads. They both loved their bodies, and wanted them exposed as much as possible. Kinda the male equivalent of Raquel Welch.

      teehee Men can be vain too.

    2. The sleeveless tunics make me snort, though. I can’t see any of the guys in my Viking group running around like that. And they are definitely too short. So scandalous!

  6. I actually have a soft spot for this film as I grew up with it and I love Kirk Douglas. Soundtrack is pretty good too!

    1. Natalie Wood did only a handful of historical costume films, mostly as a child. And if you’re referring to the rumors about her & Kirk Douglas, it’s just that, one rumor. She never named him or even hinted that he did anything to her.

  7. Kirk Douglas also did “Mourning Becomes Electra”, “Spartacus”, “The Big Sky” (which was actually pretty good), “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, “Ulysseus”, “Lust for Life”, “The Devil’s Disciple”, “The Way West”, and “Queenie”.

    1. Yes! There are definitely plenty of Kirk Douglas period films that weren’t Westerns. No excuse for not doing an MCM.

    2. I am quite fond of The Devil’s Disciple; as usual for GBS, it has more to do with Shavian Wit than Real History.

      Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster helped produce this prestige project. Neither let 18th century style hide their Hollywood Star personas, but they both exhibited gusto. Laurence Olivier relished his turn as Gentlemanly Johnny Burgoyne–who was also a playwright, thus earning a fair serving of said Wit.

      The film was shot in England. Most of the supporting cast, including many redcoats, seemed fairly authentic.

  8. And the oar dancing … that part was great. Kirk Douglas did it himself, not a stunt double. Drove the studio execs crazy.

  9. I focused on studying this culture and period (Vikings in England) so laser-hard for so long that this movie does nothing but disappoint me garb-wise. Still, it’s also so full of iconic moments that I still love it passionately after more than 30 years. Ragnar Loðbrok leaping into the pit with his sword is a priceless bit of perfection.

    We still quote this movie liberally around my stead, particularly the “scrapes his face like an Englishman” bit; my husband still plays the horn riff when he’s feeling silly in camp.

  10. If you liked that, you might also want to see “The War Lord” with Charlton Heston, wjo is sporting quite a proper Norman soup-bowl haircut. At the time, it was highly lauded by the SCA — for what that’s worth, especially that early on.

  11. You’re right! Tony Curtis is totally pretty! I was thinking that as I read and saw the pretty pretty pictures. Surprised it’s the first time to use that tag!

  12. This is still one of my favorite movies! Thanks for your hard work at Frock Flicks and doing a post on this one :)

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