The Vikings on Film

Essays on Depictions of the Nordic Middle Ages

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About the Book

Factual and fanciful tales of the Nordic warriors known as Vikings have proven irresistible to filmmakers for nearly a century. Diverse, prominent actors from Kirk Douglas, Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier to Tim Robbins and John Cleese, and noted directors, including Richard Fleischer, Clive Donner and Terry Jones, have all lent their talents to Viking–related films. These fourteen essays on films dealing with the Viking era discuss American, British and European productions. Analyzed in detail are such films as The Vikings (1958), The Long Ships (1964), Alfred the Great (1969), Erik the Viking (1989) and Outlander (2008), as well as two comic-strip adaptations, the 1954 and 1989 films of Prince Valiant and the animated Astérix and the Vikings (2006). A comprehensive filmography is also included.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Harty, a professor and chair of English, and coordinator of the Undergraduate General Education Core, at La Salle University in Philadelphia and associate editor of Arthuriana, the official journal of the North American Branch of the International Arthurian Society (of which he is the former president), has written 14 books.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kevin J. Harty
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 22 illustrations, notes, filmography, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6044-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8638-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: “Save Us, O Lord, from the Fury of the Northmen”; or, “Do You Know What’s in Your Wallet?”      3
KEVIN J. HARTY

The Trope of the Scopic in The Vikings (1958)      9
KATHLEEN COYNE KELLY
Guess Who’s Coming to Plunder? Or, Disorientation and Desire in The Long Ships (1964)      24
DONALD L. HOFFMAN
“To be, or not to be”—King: Clive Donner’s Alfred the Great (1969)      39
CHRISTOPHER A. SNYDER
Valiant and Villainous Vikings      46
ALAN LUPACK
Silly Vikings: Eichinger, Hickox, and Lorenz’s Anglo-German-Irish Production of Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant (1997)      56
JOSEPH M. SULLIVAN
When Civilization Was Less Civilized: Erik the Viking (1989)      72
SUSAN ARONSTEIN
“The Love of All Mankind but Also the Love of One Woman Alone”: Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s Shadow of the Raven (1988)      83
JOAN TASKER GRIMBERT and CLAUDIA BORNHOLDT
Different Pathfinders, Different Destinations      96
ROBERTA DAVIDSON
Who’s Savage Now?!—The Vikings in North America      106
KEVIN J. HARTY
Call of the Wild: Culture Shock and Viking Masculinities in The 13th Warrior (1999)      121
ELIZABETH S. SKLAR
Harrying an Infinite Horizon: The Ethics of Expansionism in Outlander (2008)      135
DAVID W. MARSHALL
Between Exploitation and Liberation: Viking Women and the Sexual Revolution      150
LAURIE A. FINKE and MARTIN B. SHICHTMAN
Time Out of Joint: Why a Gaul Fought the Normans in Astérix and the Vikings (2005)      165
ANDREW B. R. ELLIOTT
Northern Lite: A Brief History of Animated Vikings      178
MICHAEL N. SALDA
The Vikings on Film: A Filmography      193
KEVIN J. HARTY

About the Contributors      215
Index      219

Book Reviews & Awards

“this is a volume that has long been awaited”—Arthuriana; “such criticisms aside, though, this is still a useful exploration into the range of depictions of Vikings in cinema”—Parergon.