Tonight, Arte offers an adventure movie classic, “The Vikings”, worn by Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis. However, Richard Fleischer’s feature film has one thing in common with the “Vikings” series since both feature King “Ragnar”.
This Sunday evening, Arte is showing The Vikings, a masterpiece of classic Hollywood adventure cinema, with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis as (half) enemy brothers battling for power. This feature film has something in common with the successful series Vikings, since one of its protagonists is none other than Ragnar Lothbrok, the show’s main personality.
It is Ernest Borgnine who plays Ragnar in Richard Fleischer’s film, an Oscar-winning actor in 1955 for Marty, and whom we will see again a few years later in The Wild Horde or on the small screen for Supercopter. Note also that Borgnine plays the father of Douglas, while they are the same age a few weeks (the first is even younger than the second). Dn the series, it is Travis Fimmel who embodies the charismatic Ragnar, a powerful warrior whose curiosity is also strength. The two versions of the character have in common that they are just as ruthless as the other and the two actors exude the same presence of Viking king required by the role.
Note, however, that Fleischer’s feature film begins with the rape of the Queen of England by Ragnar, but that the character is then shown rather endearing, due to his relationship with his sons, legitimate or not. Fortunately, the film is not limited to this awkwardness and Fleischer worked a lot upstream to make the pageant as faithful as possible: two years of research to find out what breed of horse the Vikings rode or the characteristics of their famous ships, the “longships”.
With this documentation, The Vikings is a film of pure entertainment carried by an incredible cast, well paced and rather violent for the time, to be rediscovered on the spot, this evening on Arte, at 9 pm.