Cinema: A Thing of Booty

The Long Ships, a riotous viking sea saga, has impossible acting, a preposterous script, some eminently seeworthy ship reconstructions, and more enjoyable bloody foolishness than many an epic costing three times as much.

Oscar Homolka sets the tone as the crusty old Thane of Skandia, a bankrupt shipbuilder with a voice like a rockslide. Searching for the legendary Golden Bell, a thing of booty "as tall as three men, and cast by the monks of Byzantium," Homolka's sons Richard Widmark and Russ Tamblyn steal the Norse King's funeral ship as well as his shapely...

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