6.5/10
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53 user 20 critic

The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Norwegian resistance tries to stop German efforts to produce an atomic bomb component during World War II.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Ivan Moffat (screenplay), Ben Barzman (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Rolf
Richard Harris ... Knut Strand
Ulla Jacobsson ... Anna
Michael Redgrave ... Uncle
David Weston ... Arne
Sebastian Breaks Sebastian Breaks ... Gunnar
John Golightly John Golightly ... Freddy
Alan Howard ... Oli
Patrick Jordan Patrick Jordan ... Henrik
William Marlowe ... Claus
Brook Williams ... Einar
Roy Dotrice ... Jensen
Anton Diffring ... Major Frick
Ralph Michael Ralph Michael ... Nilssen
Eric Porter ... Terboven
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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:

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

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Norwegian

Release Date:

26 November 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Anthony Mann's The Heroes of Telemark See more »

Filming Locations:

Gausta, Telemark, Norway See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Benton Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the skiing chase, where the black-clad Jensen (Roy Dotrice) is pursuing Pedersen (Kirk Douglas), Dotrice's stand-in was one of the original saboteur heroes of the World War II Telemark operation. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[Knut hands a semi-automatic pistol appearing to be a German P-38, to Rolf who looks initially surprised, then bemused 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 »

Connections

Remake of Kampen om tungtvannet (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Norge i rodt, hvitt og blått
(uncredited)
Music by Lars-Erik Larsson
Lyrics by Finn Bø
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

See it for the action, not the history.
12 November 2005 | by rudge49See 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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