The Long Ships

The Long Ships

Jack Cardiff (1963)

A Certificate


Our Score
Adapted from Frans T Bengtsson's swashbuckling novel about Vikings and Moors sailing the high seas in search of a fabulous golden bell, this eager Anglo/Yugoslavian co-production has almost everything you would expect of a lavish screen epic. There's plenty of action and more than a hint of sin, the costumes and sets are opulent, and Christopher Challis's colour photography shimmers with richness. But, while Richard Widmark plays his Viking role with pantomimic brio, Sidney Poitier chooses to portray his Moorish prince as a sort of medieval civil rights activist. In other words, like many epics before and since, it's too self-indulgent for its own good.


A Viking warrior steals a ship and leads his crew in search of a legendary bell, rumoured to be three times the size of a man and made of solid gold. But they have reckoned without the ambition of the king of the Moors, who captures the Vikings and intends to use them to find the prize for himself. Adventure, starring Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Rosanna Schiaffino, Russ Tamblyn and Lionel Jeffries.

Cast & Crew

Rolfe Richard Widmark
El Mansuh Sidney Poitier
Aminah Rosanna Schiaffino
Orm Russ Tamblyn
Krok Oscar Homolka
Aziz Lionel Jeffries
Sven Edward Judd
Gerda Beba Loncar
King Harald Clifford Evans
Rhykka Colin Blakely
Vahlin Gordon Jackson
Olla David Lodge
Director Jack Cardiff
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia Picture Corp. LtdGuidance: Some violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray