Yesterday I made brief mention of Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings (1958), which screens tomorrow night at 7:30 PM at the Patio Theater, in my post about the uses and misuses of wide-screen cinematography. I should have noted that it was Fleischer who got me thinking about the subject, as reviewing The Vikings prompted me (at long last) to start investigating his extensive body of work. In the estimable opinion of Dave Kehr, the director “remains one of the least known and least honored of major American filmmakers, in part because of the sheer volume of his output.” You can say that again. Fleischer entered into filmmaking in the mid-40s with short subjects and documentaries and ended his career in the late-80s with a couple of second-tier Schwarzenegger vehicles (Conan the Destroyer, Red Sonja) and a knock-off of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World called Million Dollar Mystery. Lately I’ve been focusing on his wide-screen movies from the 50s and 60s, which reveal Fleischer to be as inventive in his use of the format as Nicholas Ray or Frank Tashlin.