Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  30 December 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 422 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 8 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.



(screen play), (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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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 ...
Louis Jean Heydt ...
Karl Arnesen


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Striking like lightning! Fighting like demons! Loving like men women dream of! See more »


Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ataque al amanecer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed near Victoria, British Columbia, from July to September, 1942. From "Actor: The Life & Times of Paul Muni" by Jerome Lawrence, GB Putnam's Sons, 1974. See more »


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 »


Johan Garme: The herring will run, Germans or no Germans.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: For long past the kingdom of Norway had been a domain of peace.

Content with their pattern of honesty and industry they were a people who feared nought and envied nobody.

So it was in the summer of 1939.... See more »


Featured in Reach for Glory (1962) See more »


Out to Pick the Berries
Written by Ann Ronell
See more »

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User Reviews

Well worth seeing and preserving
29 October 2001 | by (flint mi) – See all my reviews

Although another of the "common folk against Nazi invasion and occupation" films, this one is better than most. The acting on all levels ranges from good to superior. The plot is complete and dynamic, and the technical elements, like music and setting, are extremely good. Amazingly, the accomplishments of Norway's underground during World War Two are more dramatic than those portrayed in the film. In addition to sabotage, the underground was able to cross and recross the Swedish border, many times to save Nordic Jews. In this instance, reality exceeds the fictional world of the movie industry. This is a well written dramatic film, well worth seeing and preserving!

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