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Bear Island (1979)

On the remote Norwegian Bear Island, used as a submarine base by the Germans during World War II, U.N. scientist Larsen sends a distress signal using an emergency N.A.T.O. frequency, and is received by scientific vessel Morning Rose.

Director:

Don Sharp

Writers:

David Butler (screenplay), Don Sharp (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Frank Lansing
Vanessa Redgrave ... Heddi Lindquist
Richard Widmark ... Otto Gerran
Christopher Lee ... Lechinski
Barbara Parkins ... Judith Rubin
Lloyd Bridges ... Smithy
Lawrence Dane ... Paul Hartman
Patricia Collins ... Inge Van Zipper
Michael J. Reynolds ... Heyter
Nicholas Cortland Nicholas Cortland ... Jungbeck
August Schellenberg ... Marine Technician
Candace O'Connor Candace O'Connor ... Laboratory Assistant
Joseph Golland Joseph Golland ... Meteorological Assistant
Bruce Greenwood ... Technician
Richard Wren Richard Wren ... Radio Operator
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Storyline

A group of people converge on a barren Arctic island. They have their reasons for being there but when a series of mysterious accidents and murders take place, a whole lot of darker motives become apparent. Could the fortune in buried Nazi gold be the key to the mystery? Donald Sutherland and Vanessa Redgrave investigate. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Third Reich ended here...The Fourth Reich is just beginning See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 December 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bear Island See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 12,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Russian ship, the "Lyubov Orlova", functioned as a floating movie studio during production. See more »

Goofs

When everyone is outside after the generator explosion it is blowing a blizzard, but the flames are rising vertically with minimal wind disturbance rather than being virtually horizontal, revealing that wind machines are being used just on the area where the actors are. See more »

Crazy Credits

Coming Soon Alistair Maclean's GOODBYE CALIFORNIA See more »

Alternate Versions

The Region 1 DVD has certain graphic elements removed. Most notably, the view of the captain Lansing's cabin presents the captain's corpse being handcuffed to bulkhead and another corpse sitting by the desk. (Later the viewer learns it was an SS operative.) However, in the censored version only a glimpse of the captain Lansing's corpse is shown, the SS-man is totally cut out. This censorship severely interferes with the plot, as it is crucial to the novel to understand the motives of captain Lansing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not the best MacLean film, but still with plenty enough of excitement and a good story.
28 September 2017 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

As usual with Alistair McLean, it's a great story, but this time they fooled around with it a little too much, overdoing it into almost a parody, drowning the thriller in deafening music and exaggerated technical effects, waltzing around with snow scooters in wild goose chases, and so on. Everything is good until the stormy night, when everything collapses and relapses into chronic confusion, and on top of it all the actors can't speak clearly. Donald Sutherland is clear enough and sticks to his role all the way, Vanessa Redgrave is fair enough also in her acting as always, Richard Widmark also excels in honesty as usual, and who already in 1979 grapples with the problem of climate change and global warming, Christopher Lee is the greatest actor here though, playing an honest Russian for a change, Lloyd Bridges is queer enough, but in the resulting confusion of the sabotages coming in tautologies, it's not quite clear who fired on whom and who caused all those fires and ruined the generator, the radio mast, mixed up the books and so on. Many seem to have messed with many things, and what about poor Larsen? Was his body ever found? Who killed him and why? What did he try to communicate? Sorry, there is too much confusion in this hullabaloo of intrigues and counter-intrigues.

Still it's worth seeing, if not for anything else then at least for the story and Donald's discovery of his father. Here is the real mystery and central plot of the story – the mysterious fate of the last German u-boat captain, and the scene revealing the u-boat is a thriller in itself you'll always remember.


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