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"Only two "good" Viking movies ever made?" Topic

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Come In Nighthawk21 Jan 2013 3:40 p.m. PST

Seems like the only decent Viking movies ever made were The Vikings (1958), and The Long Ships (1964). Hollywood was so bereft of ideas after that they gave up on the genre?? Considering how much material there was in the Sagas, that seems like laziness in the extreme… frown

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 3:45 p.m. PST

Well…there's Erik the Viking. And How to Train your Dragon.

Muncehead21 Jan 2013 3:46 p.m. PST

There's a 2006 film called "Berserker: Hell's Warrior" – don't, just don't ever watch it….. ever.

Did I say don't?

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 3:51 p.m. PST

You know, I never thought about it before, but there are very few movies about the vikings at all, let alone good ones. I would like to see Bernard Cornwall's Alfred the Great series done as a movie. It is largely told froma viking point of view (via a northumbrian).


skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 3:56 p.m. PST

I would like to see miniseries on the Varangian Guards of Byzantium. They were Rus Vikings(?).
The soap opera in the series would be …Byzantine. BWAHAHAHAHA! I just made that up…

Prince Alberts Revenge21 Jan 2013 3:57 p.m. PST

For what its worth I think 13th Warrior is pretty entertaining.

gisbygeo21 Jan 2013 3:58 p.m. PST

Lee Majors in 'The Norseman'

'Bee-Jorn dahd an oarsman's death' (Bjorn died a Norseman's death, but their accents are terrible.)

Hollywood has not been kind to the Sons of the North, but then, to what historical era have they been kind?

thosmoss21 Jan 2013 4:07 p.m. PST

Veggie Tales' "Lyle the Kindly Viking" ranks as … well, at least it's one of my more favorite Veggie Tales shows.

redmist112221 Jan 2013 4:10 p.m. PST

No "13th Warrior"? I think that was a very entertaining movie w/Vikings.


Feet up now Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 4:11 p.m. PST

How about outlander beowulf ,just for fun.

willthepiper21 Jan 2013 4:21 p.m. PST

There's been a few. This version of Beowulf, filmed in Iceland, was ok:

I also enjoyed Eirik the Viking and the 13th Warrior.

Frankss21 Jan 2013 4:34 p.m. PST

I loved 13th warrior many years ago I had read the book it was based on and loved it also.

Beowulf & Grendel was quite good also.

There was a move The Pathfinder IIRC a Viking boy left behind and raised by North American Indians. The movie had a dark shadowy picture to it but on the DVD whre they show how the armour was made and show it in clear bright light, they are amazing, not historical but very great anyway.

Come In Nighthawk21 Jan 2013 4:35 p.m. PST

You may of course disagree with me, but I discount any film based on the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf in any version. They are not "Viking." And that would include The 13th Warrior.

I was also talking about serious films. I like a Monty Python farce as much as the next man… but "Erik the very conflicted fellow who hailed from somewhere north of the Dane-mark…" is not my idea of a "Viking" film.

As I said, with all that material available from the Icelandic Sagas…

willthepiper21 Jan 2013 4:54 p.m. PST

Well, in that case you might as well go straight to the source:





Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 4:56 p.m. PST

I liked 13th Warrior too.

Fabianthedelayer21 Jan 2013 5:05 p.m. PST

The Norseman is ok with jack Elam as a Viking wizard

SleepyDragon Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 5:06 p.m. PST

How about "Outlaw: The Saga of Gisli" Iceland, 1981?

redmist112221 Jan 2013 5:11 p.m. PST

Ah forgot about the "Pathfinder"…yup another "Viking" like movie…So to count that's two for me; 13th Warrior and Pathfinder!


T Meier Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 5:20 p.m. PST

'The Warlord' with Chuck Heston had Normans and vikings (though not Scandinavian ones), a very good film by genre standards.

War In 15MM21 Jan 2013 5:24 p.m. PST

I agree with T Meier. I'm not a Heston fan, but this is one of his better films.

Brian Smaller21 Jan 2013 5:26 p.m. PST

I quite liked The Viking Sagas, even if Ralph Moeller was more wooden than the posts supporting the longhouses. Sven Ole-Thorsen as Gunnar the Easterner was pretty good casting and you cannot go past a naked Ingibjörg Stefánsdóttir burying a hand axe in a guy's head.

The hall burning was an excellent scene as well.

doug redshirt21 Jan 2013 5:36 p.m. PST

The Warlord is great for Richard boone, the voice of Smaug.

Dynaman878921 Jan 2013 5:39 p.m. PST

Calling "The Vikings" good is a bit of a stretch, I did like it though.

thosmoss21 Jan 2013 6:24 p.m. PST

> I was also talking about serious films.

Wasn't "The Vikings" at least part musical? And starred Ernest Borgnine? This, in the same sentence as both "good" and "serious"?

You obviously haven't seen the very serious messages behind "Lyle the Kindly Viking".

Brian Smaller21 Jan 2013 6:30 p.m. PST

"The Vikings" was no musical. And it did have Ernest Borgnine, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis. Apart from the Northumbrians looking like generic Hollywood English medievals, I thought the Viking extras were pretty good for the period. No winged helmets, hardly anyone in armour but lots of leather, furs, conical or nasal helmets. I liked the film.

Interestingly it was remade a few years as a spaghetti-Viking film called The Invaders, but was renamed Erik the Conqueror. I saw it years ago – like 35-40 years ago.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 6:32 p.m. PST

Prince Valiant? ducks for cover…. I did like it as an 8 year old though…. :-)

boy wundyr x Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 6:51 p.m. PST

Although it's really sci-fi, I thought Outlander was ok too.

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 6:56 p.m. PST

Isn't Beowulf a Viking movie? I thought Beowulf and his band were Geats (or Gotaland in modern-day Sweden) coming to the aid of the Danish King. They both are Norse peoples and certaing went raiding. I grant you, Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem in the form it survived but it is surely a Viking story. I'm certainly happy that makes Beowulf and Grendel (2005) the best Viking movie I've seen to date and as entertaining as The 13th Warrior (which I also adore) – so that's my best two.

Rassilon Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 7:57 p.m. PST

Ditto on "Outlander", another take on Beowulf! grin


YouTube link


boy wundyr x Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 8:25 p.m. PST

I actually just picked up Outlander last week during a sale at a big chain store (HMV). Picked up 13th Warrior a few months ago too, so I guess that's a Viking trend!

Norman D Landings Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 8:44 p.m. PST

I can't say how disappointed I was with "13th Warrior".

Crichton's tale focused on two key points – the 'Wendol' were the last Neanderthals, and Buliwyf's story marked the beginning of European literature.
The film never makes either point clear – you wouldn't 'get' that from watching it if you didn't already know the background.
Bereft of those points, it's just muddy repetitive melee.

It's also a prime example of Hollywood 'film-making by committee'. The studio were unhappy with McTiernan's cut, took the film out of his hands, and it went through a year of focus groups and test screenings until it was basically edited down to the lowest common denominator.

Also – the movie's antagonists are a tribe of subterranean troglodytes.
Who manage to run a large-scale horse-breeding and training operation.
In their caves.
Cave horses. Grazing in the grass-caverns. Yeah.

Rant over.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 8:58 p.m. PST

'Alfred the Great' was rubbish, an'all.

I liked 'Valhalla Rising', though.

Caesar Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 9:14 p.m. PST

Valhalla Rising was very good.

The cgi Beowulf with Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie, as well.

Personal logo Morning Scout Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2013 9:37 p.m. PST

This is the best list of Viking movies I have found

Norman D Landings Inactive Member21 Jan 2013 9:52 p.m. PST

Nice list.

It does flag up the problem with Viking movies, though… the vast majority are godawful.

Grelber21 Jan 2013 11:13 p.m. PST

I edited the horn call from the Ragnar's Return scene of The Vikings to use as a ringtone on my cellphone.

Of course, you could watch The Viking Women. Great Viking ideas, like ragged edge mini-skirts, voting by throwing spears at targets (if we could just vote by throwing spears at potential leaders!), and a world where all blondes are good and brunettes are not to be trusted. Mexican Jack Squint needs to watch this one before he finishes rewriting his Viking rules.


gisbygeo21 Jan 2013 11:56 p.m. PST

The point has been well made that Beowulf was a Geat adventuring in Denmark, fighting the Hetware, etc… definitely fitting the Viking mould.

By the same token, a large number of the Sagas do not concern 'Vikings' at all, but the family feuds of farmers & merchants in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. Nary a viking to be found. Quite a few don't even date to the Viking Era, but rather later.

Now, the Beowulf movies are generally gawdawful, with less resemblance to Vikings than to two cats in a sock, but as a source, I'd say Beowulf yes, many sagas, no. IF we are being strict about Viking-ness.

Barks1 Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 4:27 a.m. PST

Was 'Outlander' the cross between vikings and Alien- crashed spaceship in a lake?

Grelber22 Jan 2013 5:51 a.m. PST

Barks1--Yes, that's the one! Not a bad movie.

Personal logo 22ndFoot Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2013 7:13 a.m. PST

Noggin the Nog?

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 8:01 a.m. PST

And the episode of the docu series "Foot Soldier"(hosted by Richard Karn) about the Vikings.

Coabeous Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 8:25 a.m. PST

Fire and Ice

netflix link


religon Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 8:50 a.m. PST

I have not seen a good Viking movie. The 'serious' suggestions are indeed godawful. The best movie suggested here is How to Train Your Dragon. Lyle the Kindly Viking is well above average for this genre.

Huscarle22 Jan 2013 10:07 a.m. PST

I really like "Ofelas" (Pathfinder)
I haven't seen this Danish film yet "The Last Viking" so no idea if it's any good or not.

I remember an Icelandic film in which one of the Vikings has to endure "the long walk", but can't remember its name.

Also an Icelandic trilogy, one of the films is called "Shadow of the Raven"
Another is the "Raven Flies"
"Revenge of the Barbarians"

T Meier Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 10:22 a.m. PST

I have not seen a good Viking movie. The 'serious' suggestions are indeed godawful.

I agree but there is hope. I'd have said the same thing about movies about Rome until the HBO series came out (which scraped into the OK range). The truest Roman movie from Hollywood before that was 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 12:01 p.m. PST

Huscarle, the Icelandic movie featuring the 'long walk' sequence is 1995's "The Viking Sagas".
I remember renting it when it first came out.

Its protagonist is Ralf Moller – 'Conan' in the TV series.

Unfortunately the 'long walk' bit is a really obvious distraction trick: 'Look at me while I unwind me own chittlin's! Look! Are they looking? Okay, you guys run for it!'
That kind of undermines the drama.

Overall, it's got the look and feel of a TV movie.

Huscarle22 Jan 2013 1:07 p.m. PST

Thanks for the info Norman D. Crikey 18 years ago, how time flies…

goragrad22 Jan 2013 3:44 p.m. PST

Huscarle – the 'trilogy' is:

Revenge of the Barbarian(s)/When the Raven Flies'

Shadow of the Raven,

The White Viking/Embla(re-cut by director).

Have been wanting to get the latter two for quite a while – missed Shadow of the Raven when it was showing theatrically in Denver.

Discussion on TMP a few years ago had several who thought these to be the 'best' Viking movies made. I was quite impressed with 'Revenge of the Barbarian.'

Norman D Landings Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 4:20 p.m. PST

Here you go, gents… 'Valhalla Rising' is on Youtube:

YouTube link

religon Inactive Member22 Jan 2013 4:23 p.m. PST

@Huscarle…"Ofelas" (Pathfinder) looks pretty good. Thanks for sharing.

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