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The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 26 November 1965 (UK)
Norwegian resistance tries to stop German efforts to produce an atomic bomb component during World War II.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sebastian Breaks ...
John Golightly ...
Patrick Jordan ...
William Marlowe ...
Major Frick
Ralph Michael ...
Eric Porter ...


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 Peter Grosvenor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unarmed and outnumbered, they stunned the world with their incredible victory. (Movie poster) See more »


Action | Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

26 November 1965 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Anthony Mann's The Heroes of Telemark  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When it was known as "The Unknown Battle" early in 1964, Anthony Perkins was announced as the lead. See more »


After shooting Jensen, Dr. Pedersen tucks his pistol into his belt with the grip to the right. When the German doctor lifts his jacket, revealing the pistol, the grip is to the left. See more »


[Knut hands a revolver to Rolf who looks rather shocked to be given it]
Knut: [humourously] You know what to do? Press this little thing here and the bullets come out there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: GERMAN-OCCUPIED NORWAY 1942 See more »


Version of Kampen om tungtvannet (1948) See more »


Wir fahren gegen Engeland
Music by Herms Niel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The "original" is better
18 March 2004 | by (Tromsø, Norway) – See all my reviews

During WWII, the Nazis were close to making nuclear weapons. For making this, they needed heavy water, which they produced in Norway. This film is about the operation where members of the Norwegian resistance attempted to stop the Nazis from getting their heavy water.

The story is previously told in the Norwegian film "Kampen om tungtvannet" from 1948. As such, you may call this a remake. The reason for remaking the film is of course the language. As always a good film does not get better by making it one more time. The Norwegian film is in my opinion far better because it is more realistic. The problem of Heroes of Telemark is that even if it is telling a true story, it seems artificial. The Norwegian film is more exciting and believable. Even the acting in the Norwegian film is better than in the remake, even though the actual `heroes' themselves play some of the parts!

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