6.5/10
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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:

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

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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

Whether the German wartime nuclear program was a long way from producing the atomic bomb or whether it wasn't is almost irrelevant. The important thing is that at the time the allies feared and suspected and had every reason to fear and suspect that the Germans were in a race to produce the atomic bomb. See more »

Goofs

When the saboteurs approach the factory they lower themselves off steep cliffs into the gorge by rope, after the sabotage they hike back the same way. See more »

Quotes

Terboven: 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.
Nilssen: That is... I must say that is fantastic efficiency!
Terboven: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: GERMAN-OCCUPIED NORWAY 1942 See more »

Connections

Featured in War Stories (2006) 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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