The Vikings (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Vikings1958

The Vikings (1958)



Critic Consensus: Despite moments of excess, The Vikings has enough balance in its larger-than-life action sequences and characters to entertain.

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Movie Info

Inspired by the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall, The Vikings was lensed on location in Norway under extremely adverse weather conditions. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that star Kirk Douglas and director Richard Fleischer never quite found a common ground, and for years thereafter would hold each other responsible for the film's falling short of its potential. Still, the finished product is quite a feast for the eyes and ears. Douglas, the son of Viking leader Ernest Borgnine, carries on a film-length feud with slave Tony Curtis, who, though he does not realize it, is actually his illegitimate son. This personal battle comes to a head when Douglas and Curtis both lay claim on captured English princess Janet Leigh. The scene everyone remembers in The Vikings finds Borgnine, at the mercy of wicked monarch Frank Thring, defiantly throwing himself into a pit of ravenous wolves. Launched into distribution with one of the splashiest ad campaigns in United Artists' history, The Vikings proved an enormous success; it inspired the 1959 TV series Tales of the Vikings, which utilized the film's props, costumes and scale-model ships. In 1964, The Vikings served as the inagural presentation of ABC's Sunday Night Movie series.

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Janet Leigh
as Morgana
James Donald
as Lord Egbert
Alexander Knox
as Father Godwin
Frank Thring
as King Aella
Eileen Way
as Kitala
Edric Connor
as Sandpiper
Almut Berg
as Pigtails
Orson Welles
as Narrator (uncredited)
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News & Interviews for The Vikings

Critic Reviews for The Vikings

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

Proper Hollywood overblown Viking adventure with not a shred of authentic detail but lots of glam and ham.

March 17, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Though it avoids many of the obvious pitfalls of Viking lore, The Vikings suffers from being both sillier and less outlandish than the real thing.

March 17, 2020 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

The Vikings is spectacular, rousing and colorful.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

It is the best advertisement for beer-drinking since the breweries put wrestling on TV.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Plenty of pillaging, axe-throwing, hearty quaffing of ale, storming of castles, heroic jumping into wolf pits, and manly talk about the glories of entering Valhalla with sword in hand.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[T]remendously exciting, if gory, adventure epic...

March 17, 2020 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Vikings

The "Spartacus" pairing of Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis together again for some sword and sandal, sackcloth costume wearing, teeth-gritting action all the way ... solid entertainment any way you look at it! Janet Leigh as the sultry woman between them, And once again, Ernest Borgnine anchors the thing whole movie with an understated (but overstated) supporting role as the lusty Viking King Ragnar.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Not bad

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

This is a cool movie about Vikings as played by Douglas and Curtis. The movie is really exciting and the story is great, it's pretty accurate, and very dramatic as well. I enjoyed this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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