13th Warrior

The 13th Warrior

4.6 23
Director: John McTiernan

Cast: Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Dennis Storhoi

     
 

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The 13th Warrior, a rousing adventure tale that uses the "stranger in a strange land" theme by placing a Moor courtesan amongst a pack of Viking raiders in the European Dark Ages, looks and sounds great on DVD, with a widescreen presentation and 5.1 Surround Sound that replicates the big-screen experience. It is disappointing, however, that the DVD contains few

Overview

The 13th Warrior, a rousing adventure tale that uses the "stranger in a strange land" theme by placing a Moor courtesan amongst a pack of Viking raiders in the European Dark Ages, looks and sounds great on DVD, with a widescreen presentation and 5.1 Surround Sound that replicates the big-screen experience. It is disappointing, however, that the DVD contains few extras, just the standard trailer and language subtitles. An epic like this begs for some deleted scenes and production notes, while a commentary by director John McTiernan on a reportedly rocky production that took years to finish would have been a welcome addition. A sleeper, The 13th Warrior provides lots of swashbuckling adventure that is scarce in today's action genre.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A red-blooded adventure film enhanced by supernatural elements, The 13th Warrior is packed with ultra-heroic exploits and bone-crunching action. Based on Michael Crichton's 1974 novel Eaters of the Dead, it stars Antonio Banderas as Ahmed Ibn Fahdalan, an Arab poet traveling with a small band of Vikings during the 10th century. Ridiculed at first by the lusty Norsemen, Ahmed ends up becoming a trusted comrade and participates in their bloody battles against a tribe of flesh-eating savages who supposedly possess the spirits of bears. Director John McTiernan (The Thomas Crown Affair) doesn't spend a lot of time on character development, but what the film lacks in that area, it makes up for in the richness of its atmospherics and the explosive energy of its battle scenes. McTiernan brings expertly to life the dark and menacing world of the Vikings, while Banderas conveys the dread of a sensitive man surrounded by unrelenting gloom. The film really springs to life once the carnage commences: Action lovers will find it an uncompromisingly graphic but ultimately exhilarating experience.
All Movie Guide
With the director of Die Hard and a star of Antonio Banderas' drawing power, it's hard to understand why The 13th Warrior never found an audience, other than being overlooked by critics. Maybe it should have kept the cooler original title Eaters of the Dead, the name of Michael Crichton's novel-as-historical-document about an Arab courtier (Banderas) who joins the 10th century Vikings in fighting an army of cannibalistic mist creatures. While not as exciting as Braveheart (1995), and without the thematic import of The Seven Samurai (1954), The 13th Warrior earns favorable comparisons to both films. It's a subtle historical epic -- if there is such a thing -- though its first half-hour belongs solely to Banderas adjusting to the gruff Vikings. Yet the passages are riveting, and the film earns kudos for a variety of smart details that set the scene, notably how it deals with communication difficulties. First up is Omar Sharif as Banderas' translator, who has a Viking translator of his own; events are related in duplicate or triplicate, as would have really happened. The film gets everyone speaking the same language in a captivating montage in which English words steadily blend with Norse, as Banderas absorbs their fireside bragging over weeks of travel. Among its other attributes are the most darkly lit and confusing battle scenes caught on film -- beautiful shots of the Viking vessel at sea, Banderas humorously displaying his increased battle finesse once given an appropriate-sized weapon, and a dozen Vikings painted with vivid individuality, even though their names are unknown. Don't let this overlooked gem slip through the cracks.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/18/2000
UPC:
0717951004659
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
7,914

Special Features

Theatrical trailer; French-language track; 5.1 Surround; Widescreen (2.35:1), enhanced for 16x9 televisions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Antonio Banderas Ibn Fadlan
Diane Venora Queen Weilew
Dennis Storhoi Herger the Joyous
Vladimir Kulich Buliwyf
Omar Sharif Melchisidek
Anders T. Andersen Wigliff, King Hrothgar's son
Richard Bremmer Skeld The Superstitious
Tony Curran Weath the Musician
Mischa Hausserman Rethel The Archer
Neil Maffin Roneth The Horseman
Asbjorn Riis Halga the Wise
Clive Russell Helfdane The Large
Daniel Southern Edgtho the Silent
Oliver Sveinall Haltaf the Boy
Sven Wollter King Hrothgar
Albie Woodington Hyglak The Quarrelsome
Sven Ole Thorsen Would-be King

Technical Credits
John McTiernan Director,Producer
Lou Arkoff Co-producer
Christopher Boyes Sound/Sound Designer
John Clothier Cinematographer
Annmarie Corbett Set Decoration/Design
Michael Crichton Producer
Ned Dowd Producer
Ethan Dubrow Executive Producer
Robert Eber Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas Fisher Special Effects
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Casey Grant Associate Producer
David Gribble Cinematographer
Kate Harrington Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard St. John Harrison Art Director
Willie Heslup Art Director
Helen Veronica Jarvis Art Director
John Wright Editor
Wolf Kroeger Production Designer
Warren Lewis Screenwriter
Pat McCorkle Casting
Rose Marie McSherry Set Decoration/Design
Peter Menzies Cinematographer
Bruce G. Moriarty Asst. Director
Alan Robert Murray Sound Editor
Andrew G. Vajna Executive Producer
William Wisher Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits/Things Were Not Always Thus [:11]
2. A Messenger From the North [3:44]
3. Traveling With the 12 [3:44]
4. In Hrothgar's Realm [3:37]
5. Carnage at the Farmhouse [:14]
6. Council in the Great Hall [5:44]
7. Wendol Attack [:07]
8. Building Defenses [5:32]
9. Olga's Warning [4:04]
10. Setting an Example [2:12]
11. The Fireworm Is Roused [3:00]
12. The Wisdom of an Old Crone [3:55]
13. In Search of the Wendol [:21]
14. In the Bowels of the Earth [4:25]
15. Buliwyf's Fate Is Sealed [1:12]
16. The Wendol Return for Vengeance [3:35]
17. End Credits [:14]

Customer Reviews

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The 13th Warrior 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Not that bad of a movie. One of my favorites. Hadn't heard of the book. Reminds me of Skyrim, setting wise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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rollo_tomassi More than 1 year ago
Great storyline. Great scenery. Great action scenes. Stretches the emaginaton a bit with an Arab learning the Norse language in one night, but other than that an excellent action flick.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Antonio Banderas is a diplomat from Baghdad sent on an embassy to the Bulgars, when he is kidnapped en route by a gang of Vikings who force him to be the required ¿thirteenth warrior¿ in a mission to save a northern kingdom from flesh-eating savages. The movie is based on Michael Crichton¿s ¿Eaters of the Dead¿, which in turn is loosely based on a real historical figure. One of the earliest eye-witness accounts we have of the Vikings in their homeland by a third party is that of Ahmed Ibn Fahdalan, who was kidnapped and taken north as a slave by a group of Vikings in the 10th century. This is where the book and the movie part ways from the actual events, a deliberate move on the part of Crichton. Only scraps of copies remain of Ibn Fahdalan¿s writings today, who lived among the Vikings for three years. During that time he wrote a clinical description of everything he saw. Pieces of this are represented in the movie, and although the movie turns to complete fantasy, as a whole I found it to be an enjoyable movie with satisfying dialog and excellent action scenes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vikings had absolutely no fear of dying, and launched into battle with a laugh and a poem. An Arab who gets dragged along learns about war on the job. Both cultures are portrayed accurately as the fiercest and most fabulous fighting ever filmed explodes in your face.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie depicts the Viking culture with in-depth accuracy. The acting is excellent. It gets a bit gory at times and yet there is good humor throughout. It is nice to see a movie where the lead actor (Banderas) does not have to emerge as the glorious hero. Top rate movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the finest film version of 'Beowulf' ever made - leave it to a true science-fiction writer like Michael Crichton to take an Anglo-Saxon Epic, cut out the supernatural stuff, and make the story historically believeable.
TGM More than 1 year ago
It is an unforgetable movie that can be watched over and over again. The only disappointment was that the background was too dark during many of the scenes and difficult to see. I believe this is one of Antonio Bandaras's best early pictures. It does give the viewer some insights into some of the Vikings burial customs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After watching this movie again, I am always left wondering how it just seems lost in some un-known void of our cinematic appreciation. Though this movie has its small lapses, it is very entertaining and still incredibly historically accurate and also so faithful to the book Michael crichten wrote by adapting a 9th century manuscript that is one of the first written works depicting the "Northmen". Yes, I know that Critchten produced this movie....thats seems to the only way to keep the "money people" from polluting the "creative peoples" work in Hollywood. Back when this first came out I almost puked when I heard that A. Banderos was in it as I thought it was just going to be perverted into an action vehicle for him. And was I wrong. This is when I think I first started having respect for him as a real actor, because that is just what he does in this movie, ACT. His performance from poet to warrior is very unexpected and understated. I was raised on The Longships, and The Vikings of the 1960's, And it took years to learn how this was such Hollywood garbage. Like all the other stereo-types we embrace. Do you want Wham-Bam fantasy...go rent the atrocity Pathfinder, but if you want to get away from the Hagar-The-Horrible BS of Horned helmets and such, I highly recommend this movie. I'll end this by admitting that I am an American of (mostly) Norwegion lineage, and throughout the decades I have just been so disappointed on how come a good "Viking" movie is so hard to come out of Hollywood. PS - And the word Viking simply means "Raider" and is used about as often and as accurately as people who put horns on helmets. The Northmen DID NOT LOOK LIKE HAGAR-THE-HORRIBLE!!!!
Izy More than 1 year ago
This movie is truly amazing and unforgettable. Once you see it, it's a must have in your movie collection. Best way to put this movie is it's another "The Mummy" movie. Wish there was a sequel.
mrm6569 More than 1 year ago
Great movie from a period setting alot of action, pretty good story too. And Antonio Banderas....WOW!!
Dakota-Dallas More than 1 year ago
This is a great story where Antonio Banderas's character, an ambassador, gets hooked with men of the north and must battle a blood thirsty enemy. Banderas is charming, funny, sexy, and smart. The fight scenes are great and the 'enemy' is scary and mysterious. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat! I like how they pair the lone muslim with the ideology of the Vikings and how it all works together to create an unforgettable story of bravery, perserverence and faith in yourself and the people you are with.
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