The Viking (1928 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Viking

caption =
director = Roy William Neill
producer = Herbert Kalmus
writer = Randolph Bartlett (titles - uncredited) Jack Cunningham Ottilie A. Liljencrantz (novel)
starring = Pauline Starke Donald Crisp LeRoy Mason Anders Randolf
music = William Axt (uncredited) Richard Wagner (uncredited) Edvard Grieg (uncredited)
cinematography = George Cave
editing = Aubrey Scotto
distributor = MGM
released = November 2, 1928 (USA)
runtime = 90 min
country = USA
language = Silent film
English intertitles
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0019532

"The Viking" (1928) was the first feature-length Technicolor film in an improved process which used dye- to achieve a more vibrant color. It was the second color feature with a soundtrack (a music score without dialogue), being released only a day after "The Cavalier" (1928) which had been the first color sound feature. At the time, the film was considered the finest use of color cinematography to date. The film still survives and remains an impressive example of early color film. It was based on the novel "The Thrall of Leif the Lucky" (which was itself to some extent based on Viking history), written by Ottilie A. Liljencrantz.

Technicolor President Herbert Kalmus later wrote, :There seemed to be two principal troubles with "The Viking", both of which I suspected but without certainty. First it came out among the very last silent pictures in 1929, and second, whiskers. Lief Ericson, the Viking hero true to character had a long curling mustache, whereas American audiences prefer their lovers smooth-shaven. At times the whole screen seemed filled with Viking whiskers. [H.T. Kalmus, "Technicolor Adventures in Cinemaland," "Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers", December 1938. "The Viking" opened in November 1928, but went into general release in 1929.] The film critic for the "New York Times" agreed, noting that "the figures often look as if they had stepped out of an opera comique," and, "The make-up of the players is often more than a trifle overdone, especially when the villain reveals on close inspection his mouse-colored eyelids." [Mordaunt Hall, "A Picture in Colors," "The New York Times", November 29, 1928.]

Production Technology

The sound was provided by an optical Movietone track and the color was by Technicolor in their two-component dye transfer process. The film was produced by Technicolor, but was distributed by MGM, after production chief Irving Thalberg became impressed with the technology. As such it carries the MGM Leo the Lion logo in color.


The storyline was based on traditional legend concerning Leif Ericson and the first Viking settlers to reach North America by sea.


External links

*imdb title|id=0019532|title=The Viking
* [ Technicolor] - a history of the colour process, including information about "The Viking".

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