"Dakota," a young soldier on a pass in New York City, visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theatre and films appear and host a recreational center for servicemen ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
In Commandos Strike At Dawn, Paul Muni is a Norwegian fisherman who does not like what the Nazis have brought in occupying his country. After a murder he resolves to leave Norway and do something about it.
As Eric Toreson, Muni has his most stoic role with the exception of Benito Juarez. But his facial expressions and the controlled anger in his voice tell the story than a lot theatrics.
It's unfortunate that a better story could not be utilized for a man of his talents. I'm still struggling over the idea that before the war an admiral of the Royal Navy, Cedric Hardwicke together with his daughter Anna Lee, are visiting Muni's village. It certainly doesn't look like a vacation spot or that she would take up with Muni who was certainly beneath her in the European class system.
A year later Warner Brothers produced The Edge of Darkness also about the Norwegian resistance which starred Errol Flynn. Now Flynn was in no way in Muni's class as an actor, but as an action hero he certainly filled the bill.
Lillian Gish is in this film as the wife of Ray Collins who is picked up for his anti-Nazi views and tortured. For someone of her talents, she's given little to do.
Western fans will recognize B picture cowboy actor Rod Cameron in the role of the Lutheran parson of the village. George MacReady is the village school teacher in one of the few sympathetic roles he ever had on screen.
Doing double duty is Alexander Knox as the Nazi captain among the occupiers of the village. You can also easily recognize Knox's voice as the unseen parson blessing the British commandos as they embark on a raid near Muni's village.
It's typical World War II propaganda and if it weren't for the quality of the cast Commandos Strike At Dawn would barely be a blip on the nostalgia radar.
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