In memory of Tony Curtis, whose obnoxious New York accent pissed off snobs and critics everywhere, I bring you one of Hollywood's best sword and sandal epics: THE VIKINGS!
One of the most memorable scenes is when the one-eyed Einar plays a drunken axe-throwing game, trying to cut the locks off a slave girl's hair. While the Vikings are portrayed as cartoonish brutes, they certainly don't play down the pillaging and brutality too much. The Britons want revenge, and eventually Ragnar is captured and thrown into a pit of ravenous wolves. But his unknowing son throws him a sword, so he may die like a Viking and go to Valhalla. This puts Tony Curtis on the British shit list, so he flees, and eventually teams up with Einar, as they both want to kill a bunch of Englishmen and get their grubby mitts on Princess Morgana, played by the lovely Janet Leigh. Curtis and Leigh were married in real life, so you can guess that Kirk doesn't get to show her his other little one-eyed Viking. But not for lack of trying!
The movie has many fun battle sequences, campy though some are. I love any movie where Ernest Borgnine gets to put on that maniacal smile of his and galumph around with a sword, guzzling ale and cackling with glee. As I am one of the great apes, barely shorn, I cannot empathize with Kirk and Tony, who even in their prime, I could use as weights in my gym. So I like seeing a big burly brute like myself get to cavort on screen, even if he ends up as wolf chow. The dialogue is peppered with delightful purple prose, like "Love and hate are two horns on the same goat," and "Look how he glares at me... If he wasn't fathered by the black ram in the full of the moon my name is not Ragnar!"
Coolness is Timeless for posting the youtube clip.
© 2010 Tommy Salami
Friday, October 1, 2010
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