The Viking Queen
UK quad poster by Tom Chantrell
Directed byDon Chaffey
Screenplay byClarke Reynolds
John Temple-Smith (story)
Produced byJohn Temple-Smith
StarringDon Murray
Carita
Donald Houston
Andrew Keir
Niall MacGinnis
Adrienne Corri
CinematographyStephen Dade
Edited byPeter Boita
Music byGary Hughes
Production
company
Distributed byWarner-Pathé Distributors (UK)
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (U.S.)
Release date
25 March 1967
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget£411,000[1]

The Viking Queen is a 1967 Hammer adventure film directed by Don Chaffey and starring Don Murray. It is set in Roman Britain.

The title of the film caused much confusion, because there are no Norse Vikings in the movie. However, there is another meaning of the word "viking": a raider or plunderer, of which there are many such characters in this film. In addition, "viking" was understood internationally, having been recently used in other film titles.[2]

Plot summary

According to her father's wishes, Queen Salina agrees to share the rule of Icena with Justinian, a Roman. This decision angers both the bloodthirsty Druids and Romans less just than Justinian. As the two rulers fall in love, the Druids and the Romans begin to plot their downfall. It's not long before the hills of Britain are stained with the blood of the lovers' followers.[3]

The plot combines elements of life of the historic queen Boudica (featuring the Iceni tribe, combat chariots) with elements seemingly drawn from Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma, though that is set in Gaul, and William Shakespeare's King Lear.[2]

Cast

Production

The film was budgeted at £350,000 and went over budget by £61,000.[1]

During filming in Ireland, Patrick Troughton, who was playing the part of Tristram, was offered the role of the Second Doctor in Doctor Who. Eventually, he accepted.

Reception

The Viking Queen was given mixed reviews on its original release while it performed poorly at the box office.[4]

For a much later television screening, David Parkinson in the Radio Times thought the film used "a story that would struggle to get a pass grade in GCSE English.";[5] while in TV Guide a reviewer wrote that it is "an interesting, well-photographed attempt to depict the land of the blue-painted troglodytes...The costumes reveal more flesh than might have been wise in the cold, damp climate of the Irish mountains where location scenes were shot."[6]

Box Office

According to Fox records, the film needed to earn $1,625,000 in rentals to break even and made $835,000, meaning it made a loss.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, Titan Books, 2007 p. 79 ISBN 978-1-8457-6185-1
  2. ^ a b Alison, Futrell (2013). "Love, Rebellion, and Cleavage: Boadicea's Hammered Breastplate in The Viking Queen (1967)". In Cyrino, Monica S. (ed.). Screening Love and Sex in the Ancient World. New York City: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 211–25. ISBN 978-1-137-29959-8.
  3. ^ Adapted from "The Viking Queen (1967)" by Jeremy Perkins. IMDb. Accessed 25 July 2012.
  4. ^ Marcus Hearn, The Hammer Vault: Treasures from the Archives of Hammer Films, Titan Books, 2011 p. 93 ISBN 978-0-8576-8117-1
  5. ^ David Parkinson. "The Viking Queen". RadioTimes.
  6. ^ "The Viking Queen". TV Guide.
  7. ^ Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that Got Away: The Last Days of the Zanuck Dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 326. ISBN 0-8184-0485-X.