6.8/10
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18 user 7 critic

Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 30 December 1942 (USA)
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)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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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
...
Gunnar Korstad
...
Johan Garme
Barbara Everest ...
Mrs. Olav
...
Pastor
...
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

Taglines:

IN ALL ITS HEROIC SWEEP...THE FIRST GREAT SCREEN STORY OF TODAY'S GREAT HEROES! 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:

The Commandos Come at Dawn  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bombardment of the German battery by British ships took place at Rugsundo Island, during the commando raid on December 27, 1941. 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

EriK Toresen: No one s going to get victory as a gift, Anna. We will get only what we earn.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 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
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User Reviews

 
An excellent example of WWII Propaganda films
17 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For we amateur historians this early WWII American propaganda film is a treasure for its insights into attitudes about the German conquest of Europe.

Among the first of a long line of American propaganda films, it was actually filmed on Vancouver Island in Canada, because of its similarity to the Norwegian landscape. Real British and Canadian commandos were used to play the soldiers, both British and German. {The British and Canadians who had been at war for over two years were eager to assist the newly arrived Americans becoming involved}. The cast and crew stayed at the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria, about 10 miles from the filming site.

The script was adopted from a story by C.S. Forester, the famous British novelist of naval and maritime stories. The script was done by Irwin Shaw who would become a noted American novelist.

The film is probably too idealistic in its portrayal of good-hearted Europeans rising up against their Nazi conquerors. Only after the war did Europeans concoct an heroic resistance. The vast majority at the time however passively accepted German occupation. And for good reason. The Germans took brutal reprisals against any sign of resistance. Unlike in the movie, most conquered peoples kept their heads down and waited for the Allied armies to save them. Nonetheless, the film probably reassured American audiences that Europeans were eagerly awaiting to help liberate the continent from Nazi oppressors.

Btw, I had the opportunity to discuss the making of the movie with Ann Carter, who at age 6 played "Solveig", the daughter of Paul Muni's character. I have added some of her recollections in the comments section.

Blaine in Seattle, U.S.A.


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