A nouveau, une scène sévèrement réduite, comme en témoigne ce figurant :
"They spent a week at Norwood for the tent shots and had extras throwing knives and axes, a band brought in from Vancouver to play that was cut. Extras speaking at the entrance of the tent as Melchisidek and Ibn entered was cut. My scene where I was just outside the tent entrance, they pass within inches of me as they pull open the flaps. A moment when one of the Vikings (Asbjørn Riis/Halga) picks up Ibn and drops him into the lap of a girl sitting on the side. An extra who was paid big bucks to start off the Viking song at the table was cut also. John Desantis, who played Ragnar, was told by director John McTiernan to pick up goat in the background in one of the shots was cut out. As was most of the Dancing girl. All told that week of filming was reduced to what seems to be about a minute on the screen."

Asbjørn Riis mentionne, lui aussi, dans son interview, ce moment où : "I [=Halga] get tired at looking at Ibn's innocence, and grab him from behind, lift him up and drop him between the slave girls I had just been laying with, and all the Vikings grinning, I say to him that he has to learn the Viking way with the women!"

A en croire Alejandro Abellan, qui a servi de doublure-lumière à Antonio Banderas sur différentes scènes du film, le passage où Ibn récite un "poème" était au départ bien plus élaboré (et dialogué) : "When Ibn was in the tent, the warriors were singing a song, and then Herger asked Ibn to sing a song, and then he hesitated, then all the Vikings put him on the spot and they all began to say out loud 'Sing, Arab, sing !' and so he went on to say a poem instead, and it went like this. First Buliwyf wishes a song of glory, so when Melchisidek asks Ibn to sing, he then says 'Sing, me? I'm no minstrel.' So then Ibn starts, and here is the whole poem of which in the movie you do not get to hear : 'In the beginning, there was darkness and confusion, and the spirit of God passed above the waters... and so... God said... "Let there be light !"'. This is how it went when we filmed it."

Un troisième témoignage vient confirmer que le "poème" déclamé par Fahdlan était bel et bien précédé par un chant viking interprété par l'un des convives imbibés du banquet, conformément au roman de Crichton, dans lequel on peut lire : "Au banquet de Buliwyf, l'un des hommes chanta une chanson de bravoure et de bataille qui fut fort appréciée, bien que peu écoutée. (...) Alors Buliwyf, qui était aussi ivre que les autres, m'ordonna de leur chanter une chanson, et cela avec la plus grande insistance." Iain-Jamie Peterson, figurant lors des scènes de tente du début, se souvient en effet que "John McTiernan did not like Daniel Southern's version of a Viking battle song. (...) McTiernan needs an extra who can speak Icelandic (Norwegian of the old variety) and the ability of carrying a tune in the key. Carl volunteers and the speech coach o.k.'s his Icelandic. The director very graciously gives him 10 minutes to learn a Viking battle song. In a rough translation, the song goes like this: 'Vikings who die in battle are like our kings, and we now drink to them as our fallen comrades.'" (source : Caledonian Corner) [On notera que le toast porté aux "camarades" tombés au champ d'honneur était déjà présent dans UNE JOURNEE EN ENFER, au moment où Jeremy Irons sabre le champagne avec ses hommes dans l'entrepôt...]

Juta Kitching se souvient lui aussi de la présence de chants Vikings : "I think the first version [of the song] was presented by Asbjørn [Riis], Dennis [Storhøi] and me. There were actually two songs, for different scenes. Our songs were based on Scandinavian traditional melodies and rhythms. The director did not accept these songs. Then Oliver [Sveinall]'s father, a Norwegian musician present on set with his son, was asked to compose the necessary songs (not much different from our first version). I drilled the actors with the pronunciation, we practiced and then used one song in the tent scene. (...) Anyway, none of these appear in the final cut."

Dans le montage original, la petite récitation d'Ibn n'était pas interrompue par l'attaque-surprise perpétrée par l'un des Vikings sur la personne de Buliwyf (ce petit bout de scène, rajouté au montage final, est en effet issu des reshoots de 1998. Comme le note Juta Kitching, "the original scene of the rowdy funeral banquet had Buliwyf at the end of the table, his dog beside him for protection or companionship, being presented as the heir apparent to Ibn and demanding the song from Ibn. I saw NO SCUFFLE between Buliwyf and any other possible heir").

Les festivités funéraires se poursuivaient donc, Ibn et Melchisidek étant apparemment plus ou moins conviés de force à prendre part au banquet : "they are offered alcohol, which Ibn tries to refuse (being a devout Muslim), but Melchisidek advises it would probably be taken as an insult. The partying goes on..." (source : review #10)

Juta Kitching : "These things were implied and acted out, singing, eating pork, drinking mead out of a horn... (...) At the funeral banquet, there were women, there was much eating (Ibn had his own set of fine knives and forks along!) and drinking out of horns and singing. These scenes are not in the final version."

© 2002 - The John McTiernan Central