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
In November 2009, it was reported that the World War II raid on the Telemark hydro station is to be re-enacted by a Royal Marines unit who intend to ski across seven hundred miles of frozen Norwegian landscape to raise money for charity. See more »
In the last shots of the lifeboats on the lake, the downdraft from the rotor of the camera helicopter is clearly visible on the water. 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 »
Norwegian resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II...
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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