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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.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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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

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Language:

Release Date:

24 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norway in Revolt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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

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

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