Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Sunday, 16 April 2017
The Viking Queen, 1967
Here's a doozy from that groovy year 1967 - a Hammer Film with an imported American star - just like their 1966 THE WITCHES with Joan Fontaine in her last film. This one has Don Murray, a decade or so after his BUS STOP breakout role, he hardly stands out here in this farcical setting. First of all there are no Vikings here - it is set in Roman Britain - the vikings came much later.
To honour her father's dying wish, Queen Salina shares the rule of Icena with Justinian, a fair and just Roman. This displeases the bloodthirsty Druids on one side and the more hard-line Romans on the other. As
and Justinian fall in love their enemies start to plot, and blood soon stains
the green hills of Britain.
Carita - an international model apparently - has her sole movie role as the queen of the title, but the fun in this cheapo peplum is the British supporting cast, and those County Wicklow, Ireland locations.
Adrienne Corri and Nicola Pagett are her contrasting sisters, annoyed that her father (Wilfrid Lawson) named her as his heir. Donald Houston overacts wildly as the druid leader, and my favourite DR WHO - Patrick Troughton - is on hand, as are Niall McGuinness (a long way from HELEN OF TROY), and Sean Caffrey (from another favourite, I WAS HAPPY HERE in 1966).
It is standard fare - there was a rumour one of the extras in the few crowd scenes is wearing a watch - hilariously awful now, no where near the standard of Hammer classics like BRIDES OF DRACULA or SHE. Murray was selective about his film projects so why on earth did he choose this? Perhaps offers were less by the time this went into production; proof of my idea that most actors if lucky get ten good years .... This one will pass a rainy afternoon nicely. We didn't bother with rubbish like this in 1967 when hip groovy folk were going to BLOW UP and BONNIE & CLYDE etc