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Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  30 December 1942 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 405 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic

A gentle widower, enraged at Nazi atrocities against his peaceful Norwegian fishing village, escapes to Britain and returns leading a commando force against the oppressors.

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(screen play), (story) (as C. S. Forester)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Judith Bowen
...
Mrs. Bergesen
...
Admiral Bowen (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
Johan Bergesen
Robert Coote ...
Robert Bowen (as Flying Officer Robert Coote RCAF)
Rosemary DeCamp ...
Hilma Arnesen
...
German Captain
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Anna Korstad
Richard Derr ...
Gunnar Korstad
Erville Alderson ...
Johan Garme
Barbara Everest ...
Mrs. Olav
Rod Cameron ...
Pastor
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Karl Arnesen
...
Schoolteacher
Edit

Storyline

Erik Toresen, widower and fishery observer, leads a quiet life in a small Norwegian town; but after the Nazi occupation, German abuses lead Erik to form a Resistance group. After a killing, Erik flees to the wilderness and finds a secret German air base; he resolves to escape to England with its location. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fighting! Slashing! That they may live... to love again! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Commandos  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Knox, credited eighth as the German captain, also provides the uncredited voice of the off-screen Chaplain of the British naval vessel, as well as that of the off-screen closing narrator. See more »

Goofs

When Eric Toresen (Paul Muni) left his daughter at Mrs. Olav's house and went into the mountains, he left behind the jacket he arrived with. Later after coming back down from the mountain, and without returning to Mrs. Olav's place, he has his jacket on again. See more »

Quotes

Adm. Bowen: You know, Harper's decent, but being an intelligence officer destroys all faith in human nature.
See more »

Crazy Credits

(opening dedication) Dedicated to the officers and men of the armed forces of Canada, Great Britain and Fighting Norway who participated in the filming of this picture. See more »

Connections

Featured in Reach for Glory (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Commandos March
Written by Ann Ronell and Louis Gruenberg
See more »

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User Reviews

 
good propaganda film
30 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Commandos Strike at Dawn," from 1942, is another propaganda that demonstrates the spirit of the Norwegians and their commitment to resistance. This one is directed by John Farrow, with a screenplay by a man whose name would become synonymous with long novels, Irwin Shaw, and stars Paul Muni, Anna Lee, Lillian Gish, Cedric Hardwicke, Alexander Knox, George MacCready, Ann Carter, Rosemary DeCamp, and Ray Collins.

Based on a story by C.S. Forester, "Commandos Strike at Dawn" tells the story of more victims of Quisling, citizens of a small town that is taken over by the Nazis. After Eric Toresen (Muni) sees a friend murdered and another one (Collins) severely beaten, he gets some of the townspeople to form a resistance group. When he realizes that the Germans are preparing for a huge air strike against England, he is determined to get the information to the right people in England and join the fight.

Very good film, if a little slow in spots. Muni gives an excellent performance as the bold Toreson, and Ray Collins, Lt. Tragg of Perry Mason, is cast against type as one who vocally opposes the Nazis, and he is very good. This was probably his favorite role, as it's so different from his standard tough cop or crooked politician role. Lillian Gish doesn't have much to do, sadly, as his wife. Neither does Anna Lee, as the daughter of a British military man (Hardwicke) who falls for Muni.

Someone commenting here said that this film, and probably by inference, Edge of Darkness, exaggerates the role of the underground in Europe, that most Europeans were passive during the war, afraid of reprisal. That may have been true in some areas - Germany most definitely - but that was not true in France and Norway, both of which had formidable resistance movements. Some people don't like bullies.


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