Set in German-occupied Norway, this is an embellished account of the remarkable efforts of the Norwegian resistance to sabotage the German development of the atomic bomb. Resistance fighter Knut Straud enlists the reluctant physicist Rolf Pedersen in an effort to destroy the German heavy water production plant near the village of Rjukan in rural Telemark. In the process, Pedersen discovers that his ex-wife Anna and her uncle have also joined the resistance. British commandos dispatched to destroy the plant are killed when their glider hits the mountainside at night. An improvised raid by the resistance ends in the partial destruction of the heavy water canisters, but the contingency plans of Reichskommissar Terboven enable the Germans to resume production quickly. Pedersen wants to recommend to London that the Allies bomb the plant. Straud opposes him because of the potential death toll on Norwegian civilians and a fight ensues. They send in separate recommendations, and the air raid ... Written by
A documentary about the mission called The Real Heroes of Telemark (2003) was later made two years shy of forty years after this movie was made. This documentary was apparently made to clear up some of the fictionalization of this movie which portrayed some inaccuracies, variations and differences compared to the events and circumstances of the true World War II Telemark raid. See more »
In the opening scenes where the Nazi command convoy is driving along the cliff road, the Mercedes cars are right-hand-drive. Mercedes cars built for Germany were always left-hand-drive, so one can only assume that the car used was one built for the UK market, or more likely for the Swedish market, which drove on the left until 1967. See more »
[Knut hands a revolver to Rolf who looks rather shocked to be given it]
You know what to do? Press this little thing here and the bullets come out there.
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Opening credits prologue: GERMAN-OCCUPIED NORWAY 1942 See more »
This is a British Movie that received the Hollywierd treatment.One of my many peeves is "historical " movies that hoke things up, make things up, change things around. The real story is far more exciting and dramatic, why fictionalize it. The first attempt at attacking the Norsk Hydro plant, "Operation Freshman", a British glider commando raid, ended in disaster, one tow plane crashed killing its crew and commandos, the other glider crashed, those who weren't killed in the crash were captured and shot by the Gestapo under Hitler's "Commando Order" which authorized the execution of Allied commandos even when they were in uniform. An attempt by the USAAF to destroy the Norsk Hydro plant from the air failed, the British then turned to the Norwegian section of SOE. eight of them attacked the plant, did tremendous damage, escaped without loss. The Germans then decided to move the heavy water and its production equipment to Germany, it was American born Knut Haukelid and an another Norwegian who planted the charges than sank the ferry Hydro and defeated the Germans' attempt to build an atom bomb. I am not sure why the Norsk Hydro plant made heavy water, there were no Norwegian atomic scientists at the time. Nuclear physics was still a very theoretical subject. As with so many movies, see it for the action, then read the history. Best part of the movie is the portrayal of the sinking of the Hydro.
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