The Viking (1928) was the first feature-length Technicolor film that featured a soundtrack. Because of the technical limitation of their previous process with printing sound, the film is also the first time a feature used the dye-transfer Technicolor process (previous films used two prints—one red, one green—cemented base-to-base). At the time, the film was considered the finest use of color cinematography to date. The film still survives and remains an impressive example of early color film. It was based on the novel The Thrall of Leif the Lucky (which was itself to some extent based on Viking history), written by Ottilie A. Liljencrantz.
There seemed to be two principal troubles with The Viking, both of which I suspected but without certainty. First it came out among the very last silent pictures in 1929, and second, whiskers. Leif Ericson, the Viking hero true to character had a long curling mustache, whereas American audiences prefer their lovers smooth-shaven. At times the whole screen seemed filled with Viking whiskers.H.T. Kalmus, "Technicolor Adventures in Cinemaland," Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, December 1938. The Viking opened in November 1928, but went into general release in 1929.
The film critic for the New York Times agreed, noting that "the figures often look as if they had stepped out of an opera comique," and, "The make-up of the... Read More