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Summer 1941, soon after the Finnish Winter War. Wist and Anttala are young war veterans whose homes ended up on the wrong side of the new border after the Soviet Union claimed ownership of the Finnish Karelia as a result of the war. The men decide to reclaim a chest full of silver that was hidden under Wist's home before the family was evacuated to Finland. Together with Paukku, a third young man with less experience in risky situations, they cross the border at nighttime and start their dangerous expedition through Soviet terrain. Written by
It's 1941, the time of truce in Finland.Two young men, Ese Wist and Esa Anttala know about the silver that's behind the border, in Uusikirkko Kannas to be exact.That's where Wist lived, and Anttala lived near him.The area belongs to the Soviet Union and it's not easy to go to the place they used to call their home.They get caught.But they won't give up so easily.Now they get the third man to help them, a man named Toivo Paukku.He's a bit of a ladies' man and enjoys dancing.When the others train for the mission he just kicks back.That's why he often stays behind the others and is out of breath.And more than once they are chased by men with guns.Hopeaa Rajan Takaa (1963) is directed by Mikko Niskanen.This is his third feature film.The movie is based on the novel by Esa Anttala from 1961, which I haven't read.What makes it amazing is that the story is based on the experiences of the writer.Those people actually went there to get the silver.Jaakko Pakkasvirta is terrific as Wist.And so is Veikko Karttula as Anttala.Pertti Pasanen, who became known as Spede a little later, gives a rare serious performance as Paukku.His character is the funniest of the three, but there are no gags his own movies would offer.Esko Tuomi plays Corporal of border guard detachment.Music man Rauno Lehtinen is Member of Hotel Ballad orchestra.This is a fantastic adventure movie with the war theme.It's awfully fun to watch those men walking through the forest, being exhausted and having a rest every now and then.It's quite rich in atmosphere when Spede sings a little of that song, or when they are by the campfire.The movie offers its biggest thrills when the boys are spotted by the Russians and a wild chase in the woods begins.In the end they really have to hurry to get to the border fence.The movie is also pretty touching when they see what damage has been done there in Karelia.They have lost their home, they are strangers in their old neighborhood, unwanted strangers.That's what this war caused, so many people couldn't go back home anymore, simply because there was no home they could go.This is a very fine movie that leads us into a great adventure behind the border.
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