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The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 4,219 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 15 critic

Norwegian resistance tries to stop German troops to produce an atomic bomb component during WW2. Based on a true story.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

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A factual reconstruction of the sabotage events which took place to prevent Hitler's Germany in getting the heavy water needed to make an atomic bomb during WW2.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rolf
...
Knut
...
Anna
...
Uncle
David Weston ...
Arne
Sebastian Breaks ...
Gunnar
John Golightly ...
Freddy
...
Oli
Patrick Jordan ...
Henrik
William Marlowe ...
Claus
...
Einar
...
Jensen
Anton Diffring ...
Major Frick
Ralph Michael ...
Nilssen
Eric Porter ...
Terboven
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

COME FROZEN HELL OR HIGH ADVENTURE...Their Mission: Stop the Nazis from developing the atom bomb! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

31 January 1966 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Anthony Mann's The Heroes of Telemark  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(archive footage)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In November 2009, it was reported that the World War II raid on the Telemark hydro station is to be re-enacted by a Royal Marines unit who intend to ski across seven hundred miles of frozen Norwegian landscape to raise money for charity. See more »

Goofs

When the saboteurs approach the factory they lower themselves off steep cliffs into the gorge by rope, after the sabotage they hike back the same way. See more »

Quotes

Nilssen: That is... I must say that is fantastic efficiency!
Terboven: Don't you ever make the mistake by underrating the Germans. By any means.
Terboven: By Easter we will not have merely 10000 pounds of heavy water, but 12000 pounds of heavy water.
See more »

Connections

Version of Heavy Water See more »

Soundtracks

Wir fahren gegen Engeland
(uncredited)
Music by Herms Niel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

See it for the action, not the history.
12 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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