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Edge of Darkness (1943)

Approved | | Drama, War | 24 April 1943 (USA)
After two years under German rule, a small Norwegian fishing village rises up and revolts against the occupying Nazis.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Airs Mon. Jan. 30, 6:30 AM on TCM

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Katja
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Anna Stensgard
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Johann Stensgard
Morris Carnovsky ...
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Kaspar Torgerson
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Lars Malken
Richard Fraser ...
Pastor Aalesen
Art Smith ...
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Storyline

It's two years after the Nazi's invasion of Norway and in a small fishing village that is headquarters to 150 German soldiers, the 800 locals are stewing, waiting for a supply of arms so they can revolt. Leaders include Karen Stensgard, whose father is the town's doctor and not all that sure that an open revolt will accomplish much and whose brother has proven disloyal to Norway previously, and Gunnar Brogge, a fisherman who was planning to sail to England to fight but changed his mind on hearing of English arms being delivered. Although the Nazi's cruelty is evident, the townspeople bide their time, until one incident causes the stewpot to boil over. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story incomparable of a people unconquerable.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norway in Revolt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production took 30 days more than was scheduled. See more »

Goofs

When the German soldiers prepare to burn Andresen's belongings, they pour petrol from British WW2 4-gallon tin-plated cans (flimsies). Pressed steel 'jerry cans' were manufactured in Germany in 1937 and stockpiled in anticipation of war. German forces would have had access to the superior 'Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister' in 1942. Film-makers in 1943 did not. See more »

Quotes

Knut Osterholm: I'm a farmer. If I lose my farm there must be a reason for it. The sacrifice of one poor village - what will it accomplish?
Gerd Bjarnesen: What sacrifice? What are you giving up? Your life? Maybe they'll take that from you whether you fight or not? Your farm? It isn't yours anyway until you fight for it. Your peace? What peace is there when a body of troops can come in the middle of the night and arrest you as a hostage. To be shot, for something you never did or never even thought of. To live in constant ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Ein' Feste Burg)
(uncredited)
Traditional German hymn
Lyrics by Martin Luther (1535)
English translation by Frederick H. Hedge (1853)
Played and sung offscreen by an unidentified chorus during the opening credits, in the church,
and at the end
Variations in the score throughout
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lewis Milestone's WWII Masterpiece Still Packs A Big Wallop
7 September 2011 | by (North Texas sticks (see all my reviews)) – See all my reviews

Edge Of Darkness is one of the most underrated movies by one of the most underrated directors, Lewis Milestone. This World War Two "propaganda" piece or morale builder rises far above its genre in the hands of the cinematic master best known for his magisterial World War One picture All Quiet On The Western Front. The story of a revolt brewing against Nazi occupiers by the people of a Norwegian fishing village, scripted by Robert Rossen, is reeled out in Milestone's fluid, sensuous cinematic style with spellbinding suspense from beginning to end. Sets are first rate, with the magic of Old Hollywood art transforming the California coast into a misty Scandinavian fjord.

Leading man Errol Flynn turns in perhaps his best job of acting. His dashing image is completely lost in the role of a humble fisherman not entirely confident as the leader of the local Resistance movement. No dashing uniform here, just a pea coat and a plain merchant sailor's cap. And no mustache! Flynn and leading lady Ann Sheridan both turn in the solid, understated performances their roles called for, but it is a superb cast of supporting players that really shines in this one. One of the great charms of this memorable movie is the rich character development amongst the supporting parts. Walter Huston, as the town doctor trying to sit the fence, and Judith Anderson, as a Resistance worker hopelessly in love with a German soldier, are dominating as always. But the show is practically stolen by Roman Bohnen, as a henpecked, middle-aged store keeper with dreams of glory, and the ubiquitous Henry Brandon, as a suave SS officer who may not be all he seems. Helmut Dantine, a refugee Austrian anti-Nazi in real life, plays the German commandant with razor-edge ruthlessness. Likewise outstanding are Ruth Gordon as the doctor's sadly unbalanced wife, Charles Dingle as her Quissling brother, John Beal as her wavering Quissling son, and Nancy Coleman as the commandant's frightened Polish mistress. Monte Blue, Frank Wilcox, Art Bridge, and Morris Carnovsky add their always reliable presences. Thanks to consummate acting skill, Rossen's intelligent script, and Milestone's precise direction, you will come to know these characters as well as your neighbors by the shattering end of this two hour movie.

Franz Waxman's florid score themed on Martin Luther's stirring hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is My God" with snatches from Wagner sweeps the action along to a rousing climax.Sid Hickox is credited for the sublime cinematography, but as I have stated elsewhere (see my review of The General Died At Dawn), Milestone's graphic statement was the same no matter who was behind the camera or in the editing room. Sweeping camera, silky smooth scene changes with creative dissolves, panning mise-en-scene were all the master's trademarks -- much imitated and highly influential on the film noir style that came to dominate pictures of all genres during the 1940's. Notice how at the beginning of the final scene in Edge of Darkness the flapping flag dissolves into a sheet of paper in a typewriter!

Edge of Darkness is a classic of the war/intrigue genre and one of the great movies of all time. First rate Old Hollywood entertainment from the master Lewis Milestone.


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