Come Blow Your Horn: Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings Fights Its Way Back to the Screen in 35mm CinemaScope

Wednesday, July 17 @ 7:30pm at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road
Directed by Richard Fleischer • 1958
Mightiest Of Men . . . Mightiest Of Spectacles . . . Mightiest Of Motion Pictures! The second and final collaboration between Kirk Douglas and director Richard Fleischer (Walt Disney’s sublime 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was the first) stars one-eyed Douglas and his half-brother Tony Curtis as Vikings competing for the recently captured Janet Leigh, both reporting to their totally unhinged father Ernest Borgnine. Shot in color and CinemaScope in Norway by the great Jack Cardiff (The Red Shoes, The African Queen), The Vikings is a whirlwind spectacle built for the big screen in the same class as The Ten Commandments and Around the World in 80 Days (though much shorter). The interiors are even better, including a drunken feast in the great hall (complete with an axe-throwing competition) that prompted the New York Times to call the film “the best advertisement for beer-drinking since the breweries put wrestling on TV.” Orson Welles narrates. (JA)
116 min • Bavaria Film •  35mm from Park Circus
Preceded by: Selected Cartoon – 16mm – 7 min


The cinema of 1958 was not entirely brutish and sadistic. But we are following The Vikings with one pretty nasty companion.

17B_LineupMonday, July 22 @ 7:30pm at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road
Directed by Don Siegel • 1958
Nominally a big-screen expansion of an undistinguished TV police procedural, The Lineup bristles with the genuine nastiness and unchecked sadism favored by screenwriter Stirling Silliphant and director Don Siegel. After its opening reel, The Lineup loses interest in the finer points of forensics and concentrates on the singularly sociopathic Dancer (Eli Wallach), a short-tempered hit man with no compunctions about threatening children or the disabled to reclaim a shipment of smuggled heroin. As a dumb working stiff who thrashes against a criminal hierarchy he can’t be bothered to understand, Wallach achieves a rare and uncomfortable intensity. Staging its mayhem on location at several now-vanished San Francisco landmarks, The Lineup’s irrational forward velocity finally and fittingly overflows the city itself: the climatic car chase takes place on an unfinished highway and it doesn’t disappoint.  (KW)
86 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory
Preceded by: Joe Besser in “Caught on the Bounce” (Jules White, 1952) – 35mm – 16 min

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