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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fjord your Entertainment!
"Long will you remember the men and the might of "The Long Ships". So went the publicity blurb for this entertaining rehash of Nordic history. There have been very few films dealing with these Scandinavian warriors; Kirk Douglas made the best one of course, which "The Long Ships" emulates, particularly the Long Ship entering the fjord. Unfortunately, where the Douglas...
Published on 25 Oct. 2012 by Tomlan

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bells, Belles and Biceps.
Out of Columbia Pictures comes this Viking/Moors adventure very loosely based on the Swedish novel of the same name written by Frans G. Bengtsson. Produced by Irving Allen, it's directed by Jack Cardiff and stars Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier & Russ Tamblyn. It's a Technicolor/Technirma 70 production with cinematography from Christopher Challis, who shoots on location...
Published on 9 Feb. 2011 by Spike Owen


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bells, Belles and Biceps., 9 Feb. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
Out of Columbia Pictures comes this Viking/Moors adventure very loosely based on the Swedish novel of the same name written by Frans G. Bengtsson. Produced by Irving Allen, it's directed by Jack Cardiff and stars Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier & Russ Tamblyn. It's a Technicolor/Technirma 70 production with cinematography from Christopher Challis, who shoots on location along the Yugoslavia coast. The plot follows the search and fights for a fabled golden bell known as The Mother of Voices. On one side is the Moor army led by king Aly Mansuh (Poitier), on the other is the Norsemen led by Rolfe (Widmark).

Thought to be an attempt at cashing in on the success of Richard Fleischer's The Vikings and Anthony Mann's El Cid (in spite of there being a 6 and 3 year gap respectively?), The Long Ships is a messy film bogged down by confused intentions and a poor script from Beverley Cross & Berkely Mather. Things are also problematic within the cast as Widmark, sensing the turgid nature of the beast, plays it for laughs, while a disgruntled Poitier gives it the maximum effort trying to make it work. The rest of the cast are, it seems, just along for a meal ticket ride. Even Dusan Radic's score is boisterously out of place, loud and uneven with the action, it's a score that would be more at home with an Asterix The Gaul cartoon. However, and depending on if you can forgive the nonsense history and all round bad narrative, there's still some fun to be had. Be it intentional or not. The costuming is effective, while Challis' coastal photography is gorgeous and sparkles in Technicolor. The action sequences are competently staged by Cardiff {cinematographer on The Vikings funnily enough}, tho the site of an army being felled by weapons unseen is hilariously bad. With sea-storms, double-crosses and the evil Mare Of Steel execution device, there's enough to have made this something of a cult favourite with the adventure fan. So bad it's good? Well it's not quite in that category, but newcomers entering into it expecting anything other than a dumb downed costume adventure will be sorely disappointed. 5/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fjord your Entertainment!, 25 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
"Long will you remember the men and the might of "The Long Ships". So went the publicity blurb for this entertaining rehash of Nordic history. There have been very few films dealing with these Scandinavian warriors; Kirk Douglas made the best one of course, which "The Long Ships" emulates, particularly the Long Ship entering the fjord. Unfortunately, where the Douglas film had a real Norwegian fjord, this film was made in the former Yugoslavia, where the rocks are totally different, which were noticable, especially to a pedant like me.

However, this is a far more comedic take on our Viking ancestors, and the viewer is swept along almost from the start. Did Richard Widmark really jump into the sea in North Africa, and swim ashore in Norway? Okay, okay, he might have cadged a lift of a passing ferry. History confirms the Vikings did encounter the Moors, but I bet none were as "hammy" as the excellent Sydney Potier who revels in his role as a despotic ruler. Even with a straight face, he's one of the funniest characters in the film. Russ Tamblyn gives a decent enough performance as Widmark's younger brother and Beba Loncar looked suitably blonde, as becoming a Viking princess.

Cinematographer Jack Cardiff was right at home as director, the action moves at a pleasing pace, and Dusan Radic's musical score is a nice counterpoint to Mario Nascimbene's music from "The Vikings".

This is a very satisfactory Australian import, complete with trailer. Highly amusing is the sleeve reference to "mild violence". Considering one such scene involves a man being split in two on a sharp blade...actually, as I said, the film is played for comedy!

Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stupid But Entertaining, 14 Jun. 2012
By 
Mrs. Marilyn A. Rice "RR" (sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
This movie has entertaining action sequences, colourful costumes and an impressive picture quality. But the acting performances from Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier are really bad but funny to watch. Especially Richard Widmark who plays a Viking and if you close your eyes when watching the movie, you would think you were watching a western. Also when you watch Sidney Poitier's performance, you would think you were watching a pantomine and one thing for certain is that the cast and crew were not taking this film seriousley. The story is also similair to "Jason and the argonauts" and the only difference is that the characters are searching for a golden bell instead of a golden fleece. I would advise you not to buy this movie and you should buy "The vikings" with Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Ernest Borginine.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Roving We Will Go., 29 Oct. 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
Let's not be too critical of a film that does not take itself too seriously. Although it plays fast and loose with Frans Bengtssons book of the same name, it is still a ripping good yarn. Only a handful of films have been made about the Vikings, which is strange given their exciting history. They fought and lived in lands as far away as Greenland, where they obtained the fabled unicorn's antler which in fact came from the rare Narwhal whale, to Constantinople which they knew as Miklagard, where they provided the Byzantine Emperors personal Varangian guard. It is a flavour of this roving adventurous spirit that we are given in this film.

The film is bound to be compared with "The Vikings"(58) whose success it no doubt tried to emulate. The cinematographer for that film the legendary Jack Cardiff took on the directorial duties for "The Long Ships". The story concerns the epic voyage of Rolfe, played by Richard Widmark, and his crew of Norsemen in search of a fabled giant bell called "The mother of Voices". The bell being made of solid gold. Perhaps not so preposterous as it sounds. The Vikings were noted for their epic voyages to strange and distant lands and certainly had a thirst for gold, their hoards still turning up with regularity around Europe. The adventurers encounter many dangers and are shipwrecked on North African shores where they fall into the hands of the bloodthirsty Aly Mansuh played by a very dashing Sidney Poitier. After facing "The Mare of steel", a fiendish Moorish form of execution they are enlisted by Mansuh to find the bell. Will they find the bell, and if so how will they escape Aly's clutches?

The story resembles the wanderings of Odysseus and its use of classical locations enforces that view. The film certainly has some quirky bits. I think of the mayhem in the harem particularly, but then what is a red blooded Viking supposed to do in a harem? Then of course who can forget the sight of the solid gold bell bobbing like a piece of balsa wood in the ocean. Perhaps that was what it was really made of? Then there was Lionel Jefferies dressed up as a very clownish Moor in a hilarious piece of miscasting, or was it deliberate? I watched this film as a boy and enjoyed it then. Perhaps I have never grown up because I sat with schoolboy enthusiasm and enjoyed watching it again recently. No it is not a classic that is for sure, but it is a fun romp and does actually pick up a feel of the Vikings roving spirit. Sit back, don't take it too seriously and you may actually enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old, not historical correct, great adventure, 12 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
I rememberer this movie from when I was very, very young and tv was in black and white.
OK, the film is historically incorrect, but it sure has it's charm as an old adventure movie and that's how you need to look at it. Not the special effects we are getting more and more used to, but light and deliberately funny, sometimes also funny because of stupid mistakes of the makers.... All in all it was nice to be able to see the film again with an adult eye and to be allowed to just be a boy viewing a not too serious adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
Really good service and the film epic
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM, 12 Mar. 2013
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maxdegu (west midlands uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
THIS IS A MUST, BRILLIANT FILM FOR VIKING FANS ,HAVE WATCHED THIS OVER AND OVER ,NEVER TIRE OF WATCHING THIS FILM GREAT ACTING BY BOTH SIDNEY POITIER,& RICHARD WIDMARK .
ITS ONE OF THOSE FILMS YOU JUST WANT TO WATCH AGAIN,AND AGAIN. ESPECIALLY WHEN NOTHING DECENT IS ON TV EXCELLENT!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM THE LONG SHIPS, 5 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
This is good old fashioned entertainment they don't make films like this anymore pity, pay no attention to the reviwer above get a copy of this film before it goes out of print, Poitier and Widmark are both on form. Great Film from a great time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Ships DVD, 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Long Ships (1963) [Region 2 import] Sidney Poitier (DVD)
I asked you when I bought this DVD if it would play here in Britain as it said it was region 2, when I received it, it said region 1, but you were right it does play & is an excellent film, thank you you have made my husband very happy.
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