6.5/10
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53 user 21 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:

DEFYING EACH OTHER while defying danger on all sides! 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 boat that carried the heavy water was named "Hydro". "Hydro" means water. 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

Featured in The Real Heroes of Telemark (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Wir fahren gegen Engeland
(uncredited)
Music by Herms Niel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Norwegian resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II...
24 January 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

THE HEROES OF TELEMARK is an espionage yarn involving a daring plan to prevent the Nazis from advancing plans to create atomic bomb components during the height of WWII, resulting in the sinking of a German ship.

Directed by Anthony Mann (his last film) with a mostly British cast, and starring KIRK DOUGLAS and RICHARD HARRIS, it's based on a little known true-life episode. Their mission: to return to Telemark from England and see whether ground invasion is possible--rather than bombing, because the village nearby is heavily populated. As someone else observed, Kirk and Richard spend more time fighting each other than the Nazis. Whatever animosity lies beneath the surface of these two stars, it shows on the screen.

Douglas reluctantly joins a group of nine men who go on the ground mission after a bombing raid wipes out some of the resistance fighters. Director Mann gets every bit of suspense out of the perilous mission...and the aftermath when the men are hunted by the Gestapo and wanted dead or alive.

Some of the derring-do has been fictionalized, I'm sure. Douglas manages a narrow escape on skis even though he's been wounded with a gunshot to his ankle. Several other aspects of the story have the ring of dramatic license.

It's tense and taut with remarkably good performances from KIRK DOUGLAS and RICHARD HARRIS especially. Well worth seeing and enjoying as a World War II adventure yarn based on a true incident.


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