6.5/10
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The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Norwegian resistance tries to stop German efforts to produce an atomic bomb component during World War II.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Ivan Moffat (screenplay), Ben Barzman (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Rolf
Richard Harris ... Knut Strand
Ulla Jacobsson ... Anna
Michael Redgrave ... Uncle
David Weston ... Arne
Sebastian Breaks Sebastian Breaks ... Gunnar
John Golightly John Golightly ... Freddy
Alan Howard ... Oli
Patrick Jordan Patrick Jordan ... Henrik
William Marlowe ... Claus
Brook Williams ... Einar
Roy Dotrice ... Jensen
Anton Diffring ... Major Frick
Ralph Michael Ralph Michael ... Nilssen
Eric Porter ... Terboven
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Storyline

Set in German-occupied Norway, this is an embellished account of the remarkable efforts of the Norwegian resistance to sabotage the German development of the atomic bomb. Resistance fighter Knut Straud enlists the reluctant physicist Rolf Pedersen in an effort to destroy the German heavy water production plant near the village of Rjukan in rural Telemark. In the process, Pedersen discovers that his ex-wife Anna and her uncle have also joined the resistance. British commandos dispatched to destroy the plant are killed when their glider hits the mountainside at night. An improvised raid by the resistance ends in the partial destruction of the heavy water canisters, but the contingency plans of Reichskommissar Terboven enable the Germans to resume production quickly. Pedersen wants to recommend to London that the Allies bomb the plant. Straud opposes him because of the potential death toll on Norwegian civilians and a fight ensues. They send in separate recommendations, and the air raid ... Written by Peter Grosvenor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RESCUE AND ESCAPE through danger-filled Arctic waters! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Norwegian

Release Date:

26 November 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Anthony Mann's The Heroes of Telemark See more »

Filming Locations:

Gausta, Telemark, Norway See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas and Sir Richard Harris were considered miscast as Norwegians. See more »

Goofs

The 'British uniform' is correct but for commando peaked caps, non issue to general UK troops in the war. See more »

Quotes

Terboven: Winston Churchill is puffing an extra big cigar today. And we laugh at him. Why? Because all these containers, which the British did so much to destroy, have already been pre-fabricated in Berlin. They are already on their way here and will be installed by tomorrow.
Nilssen: That is... I must say that is fantastic efficiency!
Terboven: Don't you ever make the mistake of under-rating the Germans. By Easter we will have not merely 10000 pounds of heavy water, but 12000 pounds of heavy water.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: GERMAN-OCCUPIED NORWAY 1942 See more »

Connections

Remake of De strijd om de atoombom (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Norge i rodt, hvitt og blått
(uncredited)
Music by Lars-Erik Larsson
Lyrics by Finn Bø
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Worthy, but somehow lacking.
19 August 2003 | by KEVMCSee all my reviews

In German occupied Norway during 1942, a group of Norwegian Resistance fighters joined by an initially reluctant Professor of Physics from Oslo University, attempt to destroy a German Heavy Water plant in Telemark, which is vital to the Third Reich's development of Atomic weapons.

What should be a tense and thrilling tale based on a true story is merely watchable. While it maintains your interest, it never grips. This must be down to the Director, Anthony Mann. Perhaps he had become too used to working on three hour epics (El Cid, Fall Of The Roman Empire), and he simply couldn't inject the necessary pace or urgency into a two hour adventure story. The cast are all fine, headed by Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, more troubling is the overall look of the film. Despite extensive and commendable use of the actual locations, its rather unattractively photographed. This is quite surprising considering that Robert Krasker had done such sterling work on Mann's earlier epics. Also, the use of some black and white stock footage of planes is jarring and cheap looking.

This is a good story, worth telling. But as a wartime adventure film it pales in comparison to 'The Guns Of Navarone' or 'Where Eagles Dare', even though both of those stories were entirely fictional.


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