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The Unknown Soldier (1955)
"Tuntematon sotilas" (original title)

 -  Drama | War  -  23 December 1955 (Finland)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,156 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 1 critic

It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kosti Klemelä ...
Heikki Savolainen ...
Reino Tolvanen ...
Veikko Sinisalo ...
Åke Lindman ...
Pentti Siimes ...
Leo Riuttu ...
Kaarlo Halttunen ...
Matti Ranin ...
Jussi Jurkka ...
Tauno Palo ...
Pentti Irjala ...
...
Martti Romppanen ...
Tapio Hämäläinen ...
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Storyline

It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the soldiers wake to the sound of guns - the war has begun. The Finnish troops attack and quickly move across the border. The young, nervous rookies of the company get their baptism of fire, and the men become familiar with death and the hardships of war. Under strength and badly equipped they fight a superior enemy. The lists of heroes and of the dead seem endless. Edvin Laine's epic interpretation of Väinö Linna's war novel "Tuntematon Sotilas" is an entire chapter in the book of Finnish movie history. Written by Peter Lagerstrom

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

23 December 1955 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Az ismeretlen katona  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

FIM 46,667,761 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (1956)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Veli-Matti Kaitala was a very popular child actor in the 40s. The role of Hauhia is the only screen-role that he has played as an adult. See more »

Quotes

Lehto: You fucking bastard! What are you making faces for?
Riitaoja: I'm not making faces, Corporal Sir!
Lehto: Corporal Sir! Corporal Sir! You won't get away with me by calling me 'Sir'!
See more »


Soundtracks

Finlandia
by Jean Sibelius
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User Reviews

 
War does not make one great...
15 January 2006 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

Tuntematon sotilas (The Unknown Soldier) is an epic story and part of Finland's history. The movie is based on famous Finnish novel by Väinö Linna, and it is set in the Continuation War (1941-44), just about a year after the Winter War, between Finland and Soviet Union. The movie is fully black and white.

The Unknown Soldier focuses on a very diverse group of soldiers and is packed with black humour. The different Finnish dialects, that make a huge part of the fun in the jokes, are understandable only for people who know Finnish, but the overall feeling is there in the amazing acting by Reino Tolvanen (Rokka), Kosti Klemelä (Koskela) and Pentti Siimes (Määttä) - to name a few. The most powerful scene is probably the one where Lehto, Määttä and Rahikainen are stubbornly serving their disciplinary duty after refusing to obey their superiors - directly under the enemy aerial fire.

The Unknown Soldier is one of the most realistic war movies ever made. It shows the horrible facts: people die for their home land and it's not pretty. The Finnish soldiers fight against the tenfold enemy in impossible situations. They made heroic acts in their attempt to save their country, and many of these acts have been captured brilliantly in the movie as well. But the true fact of war - death - is always around, even among the war heroes. War does not make one great.

The teaching of The Unknown Soldier is that even a small country has a chance in war against an impossible enemy if the will to protect the homeland is strong enough, the people are stubborn enough and are ready to die for freedom.

The main music in the film - Jean Sibelius' Finlandia is legendary.


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