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Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

Passed  -  Drama | History | War  -  30 December 1942 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 386 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 6 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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Title: Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Eric Toresen
...
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
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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

Plot Keywords:

village | nazi | widower | german | wedding | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Passed | 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

Director John Farrow served in World War II as a highly decorated Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Canadian Navy. He was recovering from typhus at the time of this film. From "Mia" by Edward Z. Epstein and Joe Morella; and "What Falls Away" by Mia Farrow, Doubleday, 1997. 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

Hilma Arnesen: A dry punch bowl is against 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 (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Commandos March
Written by Ann Ronell and Louis Gruenberg
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User Reviews

 
Solid but somewhat overlong morale-booster
24 September 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

With a story by Hornblower creator C.S. Forrester and a screenplay by future doorstop novelist Irwin Shaw, 1942's Commandos Strike at Dawn is a solid but overlong wartime propaganda picture that benefits from a good location (Canada standing in for Norway, giving it a similar feel to parts of 49th Parallel), a strong cast (an understated Paul Muni, Ray Collins, Lillian Gish, Cedric Hardwicke and the ever likable Robert Coote among them, while Alexander Knox does double duty as a cold Nazi and the voice of the commandos' padre delivering a pre-raid sermon) but ultimately just takes too long to get where its going. Certainly the commando raid itself is a long time coming and not particularly excitingly mounted despite obvious extensive cooperation from the Canadian armed forces, although the last few minutes are almost staged as a pure western with commandos and Nazis instead of cowboys and Indians. En route it understandably overplays the acts resistance for morale-boosting purposes, but it the first half is elevated by some of the always-undervalued director John Farrow's typically complicated but unostentatious long tracking shots. For classical music buffs, Igor Stravinsky's Four Norwegian Moods was based on his rejected score for the film, replaced here by a more overtly stirring Oscar-nominated effort by Louis Gruenberg and an uncredited John Leipold.


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