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Trivia

Director Edvin Laine did not take part of the Continuation War (1941-1944) nor the Winter War (1939-1940).
Finland's highest grossing movie ever.
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Åke Lindman (Lehto) auditioned for the role of Koskela first.
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Spede Pasanen, Heimo Lepistö, Leo Lastumäki were considered for the role of Rokka that finally went to Reino Tolvanen.
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Almost every actor was 10-20 years older than the character he was playing.
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Rokka, Hietanen, Honkajoki, Lahtinen and Koskela are the only characters, whose first names are mentioned in the film (Antero 'Antti' Rokka, Urho Hietanen, Yrjö Lahtinen, Vilho 'Ville' Koskela).
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The film was released only a year after the novel was published.
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Right after Väinö Linna had published his novel Tuntematon sotilas, Mauno Mäkelä, the manager of Fennada-Filmi made a tentative reservation of the filming rights. But Edvin Laine, who was working for SF (Suomen Filmiteollisuus) at the time, read the novel and immediately traveled from Helsinki to Tampere to meet Väinö Linna to invalidate Mäkelä's reservations. Laine believed so much in the novel that he promised Linna more money for the filming rights than Mäkelä, although he didn't have the authorization to do so. In spite of this ruthless act Mäkelä and Laine later made two films together Here, Beneath the North Star (1968) and Akseli ja Elina (1970). These films were based on Väinö Linnas Täällä Pohjantähden alla-trilogy.
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The most expensive Finnish film at the time.
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The film is traditionally shown in television in Finland every year on Independence Day (December 6th) since the year 2000.
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When the film was shown in Russia for the first time ever (well after the downfall of the Soviet Union), it received a standing ovation from the audience.
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Has sold in over 40 countries, more than any other Finnish movie.
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Opened in 3 theaters: Rex, Ritz and Tuulensuu, all in Helsinki, Finland. Movie was distributed with 21 copies.
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Production number was SF 166 (Suomen Filmiteollisuus 166).
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One of the few films in which Tauno Palo does not play the leading role.
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Producer T.J. Särkkä tried to evade the tax man in a weird way by spending the profits from this film in a large number of quickie movies. This, in part, led to his company's downfall.
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Åke Lindman was so fed up with playing villains and bad guys that he would have liked to play Koskela, who was the most rightful character in the film. But he ended up playing Lehto, the bad guy of the movie. In spite of his dis-likeness of the character, Lindman was awarded with Jussi-Prize for the role.
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Reino Tolvanen was the only one of the leading men who was not a professional actor.
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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.
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The production of the film started so late in the early of 1955 that the snow that was needed for the Winter-sequences had already started to meld. That's why screenwriter Juha Nevalainen wrote these sequences first that they could be filmed, before the snow was gone.
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Lots of authentic footage from the Continuity War were used in the film. Editors Osmo Harkimo and Armas Vallasvuo edited this footage together with the non-authentic footage and they did their job so skillfully that in some scene it is almost impossible to say whether the footage is authentic or not.
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Among many other actors Topi Kankainen was one of those who was considered to play Rokka. Kankainen finally ended up playing a minor part, Private Korpela.
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Producer T.J. Särkkä originally planned to shoot the film in color, but it would have cost too much, so the film was finally shot in black and white.
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