19 January 2010 | ma-cortes
Colorful and big budgeted Viking adventure with marvelous scenarios
The film starts telling the following legend :¨And so, by the storm's fury he lost all he loved most in this world, his ship and his shipmates. But he was ashore alone , the only survivor. Monks found him and took him to their monastery where they tenderly nursed him never asking his name of his country.And gradually he grew stronger, as he slowly recovered, he saw that the holy men collected tiny colored stones. And with great patience and loving skill made pictures from them to decorate their chapel. And the pictures told a story. A story of a mighty bell made of solid gold. For days without number the holy men labored to make this mighty bell, They made ready a great cauldron and under it fire burned day at night. They came of gold. Gold idols, golden rings taken from the harems, from wives, from princesses, from courtesans. Gold money, gold from ships, mines and caravans, from mosques , palaces and sacred cities. Gold stolen by robbers from from the tombs of pharaohs , golden cups, golden plate. Treasure won by conquering armies, And from its hiding place came the fabulous chain of Nimrud of the 10.ooo golden links. A last the huge cauldron was so filled with molten gold that no more could be added. Then I was poured into a gigantic clay mold. For days it stood cooling until the hour struck when the clay was torn away . And so the great golden bell came shinning into the world. They smoothed it, they polished it. Then they called on it to speak, And they ran back in terror and in awe. And covered their ears. For this was the mother of voices¨.
Rolf (Richard Widmark) as leader of a band of Norsemen along with his brother Orn (Russ Tamblyn) stealing a ship sets sail for the unknown land in search of a missing solid-gold bell . Meanwhile they kidnap a Viking princess (Beba Loncar) and hold her for security. Widmark heading off a mysterious place, defending his people and battling for his survival against mutinous crew , evil oppressors(Clifford Evans) and especially fighting Moorish prince named El Mansuh(Sidney Poitier) There're also some gorgeous babes ( Rosanna Schiaffino, Beba Loncar) around to offer us certain comfort .
This enjoyable picture packs adventures, thrills, good action scenes and is very amusing. Great location footage of booth Yugoslavia and Great Britain. Shimmer and glimmer cinematography by Christopher Challis. Spectacular and evocative musical score by Dugan Radic. The picture is well directed by Jack Cardiff (Dark of the sun, The girl on the motorcycle, My Geisha).
This basic costume epic belongs to Viking genre such as : The classic ¨The Vikings(1958)¨ by Richard Fleischer with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis, ¨The Norseman(1978) ¨ by Charles B Pierce with Cornel Wilde and Mel Ferrer ; ¨The Viking queen(1967)¨ by Don Chaffey with Don Murray and Andrew Keir; ¨The Viking sagas(1995)¨ by Michael Chapman with Ralph Moeller , among others.