Movie Showing


‘In the standard Viking film, the Viking is easily stereotyped as aggressive berserker ‒ the savage, uncivilized other bent on marauding, pillaging, burning, raping, kidnapping, and killing.’

Keven J. Harty,  editor of The Vikings on Film (2011)

November 5th at 4:30 in the David Turpin Building A104

The Medieval Studies program is proud to introduce one of the most influential Viking films of the 20th Century, The Vikings (1958). It was one of the lavish historical motion pictures produced on the Hollywood assembly line in the 1950s and 1960s. Other films of the same ilk include Alexander the Great (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), and Spartacus (1960), the last one staring Kirk Douglas. Douglas played similarly one of the leading roles in The Vikings and was involved in producing the film. The script was an adaptation on Edison Marshall’s novel The Viking (1951), which in return was (just like the contemporary TV series The Vikings) based on ancient sources about the Scandinavian legendary hero Ragnar ‘Hairy Breeches’ and his many sons. A considerable part of the action takes place at the settlement of Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine) and Einar (Kirk Douglas), set in Norway. The storyline primarily follows Einar’s contest with the slave Erik (Tony Curtis), who turns out to be his half-brother, as they compete for the love of Princess Morgana (Janet Leigh).