In what is now Russia, a settlement of Vikings lives in peace with both the Tartars and the Slavs. All is well until Togrul, a Tartar chief seeks the help of Oleg, the chief of the Vikings to war on the Slavs in a surprise attack. Oleg refuses and the group does battle ending with Oleg killing Togrul and abducting Togrul's daughter Samia as a hostage.
Burundai, Togrul's brother is furious and wishes the Viking settlement burnt to the ground. His High Priest Ciu Lang reminds Burundai that Samia is promised to the leader of the Tartars as his wife; her safety and return has a higher priority than Burundai's revenge. Burundai gets his chance to retrieve Samia when a Viking longship is attacked with Helga, Oleg's wife and her handmaidens captured. Burundai initially promises to treat Helga well as an exchange for Samia but tortures Helga's handmaidens to discover the strength of the Vikings. He also rapes Helga and gives her to his men for their further pleasure prior to exchanging her for Samia. Meanwhile, Samia has fallen in love with Oleg's brother Eric and is pregnant with Eric's child.
Victor Mature ... Oleg
Orson Welles ... Burundai
Liana Orfei ... Helga
Arnoldo Foà ... Ciu Lang
Luciano Marin ... Eric
Bella Cortez ... Samia
Furio Meniconi ... Sigrun
Folco Lulli ... Togrul
Filming took place in Rome and Yugoslavia in October 1960.
According to MGM records the movie made a profit of $34,000.
Orson Welles' enunciation has been praised while Victor Mature has been considered a miscast for not having the looks of an archetypal Viking.
Hughes, Howard (2011). Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. London - New York: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-608-0.