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The Winter War (1989)
"Talvisota" (original title)

 |  Drama, War  |  December 1989 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,019 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 5 critic

Set during World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Taneli Mäkelä ...
Private Martti Hakala
Vesa Vierikko ...
2nd Lieutenant Jussi Kantola
...
Private Pentti Saari
Heikki Paavilainen ...
Private Vilho Erkkilä
Antti Raivio ...
Corporal Erkki Somppi
Esko Kovero ...
Medical Corporal Juho Pernaa
Martti Suosalo ...
Private Arvi Huhtala
Markku Huhtamo ...
Private Aatos Laitila
Matti Onnismaa ...
Corporal Veikko Korpela
Konsta Mäkelä ...
Tomi Salmela ...
Private Matti Ylinen
...
Private Mauri Haapasalo
Vesa Mäkelä ...
Lieutenant Yrjö Haavisto
Aarno Sulkanen ...
Captain Sihvo - battalion commander
Kari Kihlström ...
Lieutenant Jorma Potila
Edit

Storyline

Set during World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses on two farmers from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Ostrobothnia, brothers Martti and Paavo Hakala, serving in a Finnish platoon. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They held back the Russian Juggernaut in a frozen Hell!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vinterkriget  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

FIM 23,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (miniseries)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Pekka Parikka insisted on having a red star painted on the tanks, although there was no insignia on the Russian tanks during the Winter War, just an identification number painted on the turret. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Private Pentti Saari shoots a captured Semi-Automatic Rifle SVT-40, but he reloads after each shot (it is possibly caused by shooting blanks, which have not enough power to reload the rifle). The SVT-40 itself was introduced after the war, and it should be older, slightly different model SVT-38. See more »

Quotes

Corporal Erkki Somppi: Paavo, you stay here.
Paavo Hakala: Is this a bad spot?
Soldier that leaves the position.: Nothing but bad spots here, pal.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Catch (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Luutnantti Haaviston teema
Composed by Jukka Haavisto
See more »

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User Reviews

The greatest Finnish war movie ever made
10 January 2003 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I have watched Talvisota for two times and it was even better than in the first time. It's a very realistic movie about the 105 day Winter War, which was fought between Finland and Russia in 1939-1940. The movie follows an infantry regiment from Lapua, and particulary private Martti Hakala. The movie starts when the men are called to an extra training session, but soon they are transported near the border and, soon after that, to the frontline, where they are trying to stop all the russian attacks. The combat scenes look good and realistic. They usually consist of Finns trying to stop the Russian human wave from getting in to the Finnish trenches, but every battle is still different, when the number of Finnish soldiers is decreasing and decreasing and the battles are getting more desperate. And of course, sometimes it's the Finns attacking. Technically the movie is also very good. The sounds really make you feel as if you where there, in the middle of combat, thanks to the sound designer Paul Jyrälä. I have always liked scenes with added slow motion, especially in war movies. This movie features some, and they are in really great places (for example, in one scene a soldier is running to the HQ during a bombardment, trying not to get hit by a grenade. And all is shown in a cool slow motion!) The explosions also are very well done, with pieces of ground, ice and trees flying in the air.

I can't say anything bad about this movie. Sometimes it reminds me of Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan (I also like both of them) but unlike them, Talvisota tells about a war not so famous. I guess that almost everyone of you has heard about the invasion of Normandy and Operation Market Garden, but how many has heard about Taipale? How many has heard about the Winter War?


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