The Vikings was an action/adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer in 1958, produced by and starring Kirk Douglas, and based on the novel The Viking by Edison Marshall. Other actors included Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh , Ernest Borgnine and Frank Thring. The film made notable use of natural locations in Norway, crisply captured on film by cinematographer Jack Cardiff. The King of Northumbria is killed during a Viking raid led by the fearsome Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine). Because the king had died childless, his cousin Aella (Frank Thring) takes the throne. The king's widow, however, is pregnant with what she knows is Ragnar's child, and to protect the infant from her cousin-in-law's ambitions, she sends him off to Italy. By a twist of fate, the ship is intercepted by the Vikings, who are unaware of the child's kinship, and enslave him. The boy grows into a young man named Erik (Tony Curtis).