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The action story of two Viking half-brothers who quarrel over the throne of Northumbria.
Einar (Kirk Douglas), a hideously scarred Viking warrior, seeks land acquisition and the hand of the beautiful Princess Morgana (Janel Leigh). Einar crosses paths with Eric (Tony Curtis) who has his sights set on the same prizes. The two have more in common than they know; unbeknownst to one another, they are brothers. This 1958 epic was based on an actual Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok, a sadistic and adventurous sailor. While not very rooted in fact, the film is a rousing adventure with lusty, violent imagery very bold for its time. A scene where Janet Leigh's clothing is ripped, enabling her to row a boat and exposing her back was considered very risque and undoubtedly added to the film's stellar performance at the box office. Ernest Borgnine shines as Ragnar and Jack Cardiff's photography is breathtaking. An opening animated historical prelude is narrated by Orson Welles.