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Edge of Darkness (1943)

 -  Drama | War  -  24 April 1943 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,006 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 11 critic

After two years under German rule, a small Norwegian fishing village rises up and revolts against the occupying Nazis.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Edge of Darkness (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gunnar Brogge
...
Karen Stensgard
...
Dr. Martin Stensgard
Nancy Coleman ...
Katja
Helmut Dantine ...
Captain Koenig
...
Gerd Bjarnesen
...
Anna Stensgard
John Beal ...
Johann Stensgard
Morris Carnovsky ...
Sixtus Andresen
Charles Dingle ...
Kaspar Torgerson
Roman Bohnen ...
Lars Malken
Richard Fraser ...
Pastor Aalesen
Art Smith ...
Knut Osterholm
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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

Weather problems plagued the production. A thick fog delayed location filming for several weeks in the town of Monterey, California. Errol Flynn got sick with a sinus illness, a condition which apparently was caused and/or aggravated by the bad weather. See more »

Goofs

The Germans have put Trollness under a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and any Norwegian who violates it is subject to summary execution. But when Dr. Stensgard scours the streets of Trollness for his daughter's rapist, it is night, and he passes dozens of German soldiers, any one of whom should have shot him on sight. See more »

Quotes

Sixtus Andresen: [to Koenig] The individual man must stand against you like a rock.
See more »

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

 
A Norwegian fishing village faces down the Nazis
22 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Edge of Darkness" is a 1943 propaganda film about a Norwegian fishing village rising up to fight the Nazis. However, this movie is a cut above other propaganda movies. The cast is excellent, top-notch all the way: Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, Walter Huston, Ruth Gordon, John Beal, Helmut Dantine, Judith Anderson and Morris Carnovsky. Sometimes on the IMDb message board, a poster will ask for opinions on the best ensemble cast ever assembled. This one deserves a mention. It's probably not at the top of everyone's list because it was released while Errol Flynn was fighting statutory rape charges, which was a distraction to audiences, certainly, and also because it followed "Casablanca."

Norway was dragged into the World War II conflict because Hitler was very concerned about protecting the Norwegian shoreline so that the Russians could not receive supplies if they joined the Allies. In the story, the village is being occupied by the Nazis, who are taking the people's shipments of basic necessities and oppressing the entire town by their very presence - curfews, patrols, and the commandeering of the local hotel as their base. Flynn plays the head of the resistance, a brave fisherman named Gunnar Brogge. He is joined in the fight byand by other villagers and by the woman he loves, Karen Stensgard (Sheridan). Her father (Huston) is a doctor who, like many others, has been content not to make waves; his wife (Gordon) longs for the days before the war when the family was together. Karen, however, has no such wish - her brother, Johann (John Beal) is a weakling who collaborated with the Nazis in Oslo. Hearing that he's returning home, she warns the resistance group that he could cause problems. Meanwhile, the group waits to receive a shipment of arms so that they can fight effectively.

The director, Lewis Milestone, has created an atmosphere where one feels the oppression, fear and frustration of these simple people. There are powerful scenes that demonstrate the viciousness of the Nazis, led by Helmut Dantine. One scene is off-camera - the rape of Karen. As another poster here commented, she of course looks fabulous when she returns to the group - some dirt smudges and her beautiful hair falling around her face. That is really the one false note in this story of great bravery.

The entire cast is terrific, led by Flynn, who demonstrates quiet strength and determination as Gunnar. This is really an ensemble piece, however, and Flynn and Sheridan do not overwhelm the production. Walter Huston again demonstrates his brilliant acting skills as a man trying to stick it out without having a high profile, and Gordon is sympathetic as his wife, who yearns for the family moments that are now gone. All of the roles, including the smaller ones, are essayed beautifully.

I am sure that this film was very inspirational when first seen, particularly the radio message from Roosevelt at the end of the movie. "Edge of Darkness" is a compelling story about the effect of the war and occupation on the average person.


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