Any attempt to put this into the epic class falls down because of a hodge-podge of a storyline, a mixture of styles and insufficient development of characterization.

Any attempt to put this into the epic class falls down because of a hodge-podge of a storyline, a mixture of styles and insufficient development of characterization.

The plot, which has obviously suffered in both editing and in censorial slaps, is a conglomeration of battles, double-crossing, sea-storms, floggings, unarmed combat with occasional halfhearted peeks at sex. Throughout there’s a great deal of noise and the entire experience is a very long drag.

Film [based on the novel by Frans G. Bengtsson] concerns the rivalry of the Vikings and the Moors in search of a legendary Golden Bell, the size of three men and containing ‘half the gold in the world’. Leaders of the rival factors are Richard Widmark, an adventurous Viking con man, who plays strictly tongue in cheek, and Sidney Poitier, dignified, ruthless top man of the Moors. In contrast to Widmark, he seeks to take the film seriously. The clash in styles between these two is a minor disaster.

The Long Ships

UK - Yugoslavia

Production

Columbia/Warwick/Avala. Director Jack Cardiff; Producer Irving Allen; Screenplay Berkely Mather, Beverley Cross; Camera Christopher Challis; Editor Geoff Foot; Music Dusan Radic; Art Director John Hoesli

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 124 MIN.

With

Richard Widmark Sidney Poitier Russ Tamblyn Rosanna Schiaffino Beba Loncar Oscar Homolka
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