6.5/10
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53 user 19 critic

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.

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:

FIND AND DESTROY is the order...and 9 men have to risk everything! 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

The Telemark of this movie's title refers a county district in the region of Østlandet (East Country/Eastern Norway) in Norway. The county was formerly known as Bratsberg amt, up until 1919. Telemark borders the Norwegian counties of Vestfold, Buskerud, Hordaland, Rogaland and Aust-Agder. Telemark is the county where the real life World War II mission to raid the Vemork hydroelectric heavy water plant in the town of Rjukan (located in Tinn, a municipality in Telemark) took place and which forms the basis for this movie. See more »

Goofs

When the Germans arrive to arrest 'Uncle', as the truck passes the window, the crew are clearly visible in the window glass. 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

 
Worthy, but somehow lacking.
19 August 2003 | by KEVMCSee all my reviews

In German occupied Norway during 1942, a group of Norwegian Resistance fighters joined by an initially reluctant Professor of Physics from Oslo University, attempt to destroy a German Heavy Water plant in Telemark, which is vital to the Third Reich's development of Atomic weapons.

What should be a tense and thrilling tale based on a true story is merely watchable. While it maintains your interest, it never grips. This must be down to the Director, Anthony Mann. Perhaps he had become too used to working on three hour epics (El Cid, Fall Of The Roman Empire), and he simply couldn't inject the necessary pace or urgency into a two hour adventure story. The cast are all fine, headed by Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, more troubling is the overall look of the film. Despite extensive and commendable use of the actual locations, its rather unattractively photographed. This is quite surprising considering that Robert Krasker had done such sterling work on Mann's earlier epics. Also, the use of some black and white stock footage of planes is jarring and cheap looking.

This is a good story, worth telling. But as a wartime adventure film it pales in comparison to 'The Guns Of Navarone' or 'Where Eagles Dare', even though both of those stories were entirely fictional.


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