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 (Richard Harris) enlists the reluctant physicist Dr. Rolf Pedersen (Kirk Douglas) 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 (Ulla Jacobsson) and her uncle (Sir Michael Redgrave) 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 (Eric Porter) 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 ...Written by
During filming, Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris failed to get along with each other. The tension between the two was fairly noticeable to cast and crew alike. See more »
When the Germans arrive to arrest 'Uncle', as the truck passes the window, the crew are clearly visible in the window glass. See more »
Winston Churchill is puffing an extra big cigar today. And we laugh at him. Why? Because all these containers, which the British did so much to destroy, have already been pre-fabricated in Berlin. They are already on their way here and will be installed by tomorrow.
That is... I must say that is fantastic efficiency!
Don't you ever make the mistake of under-rating the Germans. By Easter we will have not merely 10000 pounds of heavy water, but 12000 pounds of heavy water.
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Opening credits prologue: GERMAN-OCCUPIED NORWAY 1942 See more »
THOF offers cheesy German accents and I'm sure a few liberties with historical facts, but for those who nitpick at a Kirk Douglas film made in the mid-60s, keep in mind that it's just that: a simple little mid-60s war film with Kirk Douglas. It is fun, quick, not too talky, and with some very nice snowy scenery. Not dull in spite of its length of 2 hours plus, so what more can one expect from a simplistic little action film? Norwegian viewers might understandably get a little annoyed by the bending of facts, but at least movies about Norway's role in the war were made - which can't be said about Sweden. There will never be a movie about Sweden's fight against the Nazis, and this alone should give the Norwegians some satisfaction...
IMDb states that both shorter (i.e. butchered) versions of THOF were released in Germany. Hmm, I wonder why...
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