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Sunday November 18th 2018

The Vikings | 1958

The Vikings location: Fort LaLatte, Brittany, France
The Vikings location: the castle of Northumbrian king Aella: Fort LaLatte, Brittany, France | Photograph: Wikimedia / Levieuxchiendetalus

Two years before Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis slug it out as Viking brothers in this boisterously butch Norse saga, filmed largely on the spectacular southwest coast of Norway. Meticulously researched and designed, the Viking village was built southwest of Gjetingsdalen, on the Maurangerfjord, across from the Fureberg waterfall, southeast of Bergen.

The Vikings location: Naeroyfjord, Norway
The Vikings location: the longboats: Nærøyfjord, near Balestrand, Norway | Photograph: iStockphoto / alexm156

The longboat scenes were filmed a little to the north, on the spectacular Sogne fjord, Nærøyfjord, near Balestrand.

The castle of Northumbrian king Aella (über-camp villain Frank Thring), from which Princess Morgana (Janet Leigh) is finally rescued, is the 14th century Fort-La-Latte, perched spectacularly atop cliffs on the north Brittany coast of France, between St Brieuc and St Malo.

The Vikings location: Fort LaLatte, Brittany, France
The Vikings location: the final fight on the castle roof: Fort LaLatte, Brittany, France | Photograph: Wikimedia / Anthonyguerrier

The castle, which is open to visitors, is also featured in Philippe de Broca’s 1988 period adventure Chouans!, with Philippe Noiret, Sophie Marceau and Lambert Wilson.