John Bodner to present lecture on ‘The Viking’ tonight at Corner Brook Museum
The loss of 27 lives during the production of the 1931 film “The Viking “will be the centre of a lecture being presented by John Bodner on July 26 at Corner Brook Museum.
The lecture will provide people with a better understanding of its place in history by examining the life of its director, Varick Frissell, and the role of the film in contemporary Newfoundland identity,
“The Viking: is set in Newfoundland and the ice floes off its coast.
It tells the story of Luke, a sailor and fisherman who gets immersed in a sealing expedition, a rival, Jed, who plots against him, and the sweetheart he left behind.
The film was directed by Frissell who, after a preliminary shooting in 1930, returned to St. John’s the following spring to capture additional footage of the spectacular ice floes.
The SS Viking again sailed out March 9, 1931, with a film crew taking some new shots.
A week later, a store of dynamite, which was carried to blast a passage through the thick ice, ignited and the ensuing explosion killed 27 people, including Frissell.
This tragedy stands as the largest number of fatalities ever incurred with the production of a film.