Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Technicolor "spectacular" The Viking was loosely based on the exploits of Norwegian explorer Leif Ericsson. Using O. A. Liljencrantz' highly fanciful novel Leif the Lucky as its guide, the film weaves a delightfully inaccurate account of Ericsson's bold journey from Scandinavia to the coast of America. Sporting a Snub Pollard mustache, Donald Crisp stars as Ericsson, while the love interest was left in the hands of Pauline Starke. The villainy was handled by Anders Randolf, cast as Ericsson's treacherous first mate. Highlights include the Vikings' attack on England, with raping and pillaging aplenty; a mutiny fomented by the villain, which is thwarted through sheer force of will by Ericsson; and the Viking captain's sudden conversion to Christianity. Although the improved Technicolor process was stunning and the production values first-rate, The Viking was an expensive flop -- precisely the sort of picture MGM didn't need during the chaotic switchover to talkies.