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The Winter War (1989)

Talvisota (original title)
In 1939, two Finnish brothers are conscripted in the army to fight in the war between Finland and the Soviet Union.

Director:

Pekka Parikka

Writers:

Pekka Parikka, Antti Tuuri (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Taneli Mäkelä Taneli Mäkelä ... Private Martti Hakala
Vesa Vierikko Vesa Vierikko ... 2nd Lieutenant Jussi Kantola
Timo Torikka ... Private Pentti Saari
Heikki Paavilainen Heikki Paavilainen ... Private Vilho Erkkilä
Antti Raivio Antti Raivio ... Corporal Erkki Somppi
Esko Kovero Esko Kovero ... Medical Corporal Juho Pernaa
Martti Suosalo ... Private Arvi Huhtala
Markku Huhtamo Markku Huhtamo ... Private Aatos Laitila
Matti Onnismaa Matti Onnismaa ... Corporal Veikko Korpela
Konsta Mäkelä Konsta Mäkelä ... Private Paavo Hakala
Tomi Salmela ... Private Matti Ylinen
Samuli Edelmann ... Private Mauri Haapasalo (as Samuli Edelman)
Vesa Mäkelä Vesa Mäkelä ... Lieutenant Yrjö Haavisto
Aarno Sulkanen Aarno Sulkanen ... Captain Sihvo - battalion commander
Kari Kihlström Kari Kihlström ... Lieutenant Jorma Potila
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Storyline

Set during World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses on two farmers from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Ostrobothnia, brothers Martti and Paavo Hakala, serving in a Finnish platoon. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They held back the Russian Juggernaut in a frozen Hell!

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site (in Finnish)

Country:

Finland

Language:

Finnish

Release Date:

December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Winter War See more »

Filming Locations:

Haapamäki, Finland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FIM23,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

National Filmi Oy See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (International Cut) | (miniseries)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Pekka Parikka wasn't actually planning to make an extended TV version back in the late '80s. He received financial help from the Finnish Broadcasting Company, which wanted him to make a miniseries for Finnish TV. It has an hour of additional footage compared to the original theatrical version. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Private Pentti Saari shoots a captured Semi-Automatic Rifle SVT-40, but he reloads after each shot (it is possibly caused by shooting blanks, which have not enough power to reload the rifle). The SVT-40 itself was introduced after the war, and it should be older, slightly different model SVT-38. See more »

Quotes

Aatos Laitila: If it gets any colder we'll need dynamite to break up the cheese.
Arvi Huhtala: Let Russian artillery do it for us.
See more »

Alternate Versions

5×50min TV-series includes some extra scenes not shown in the original theatre release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Catch (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Kytösavun aukeilla mailla/Vilppulan urhojen muistolle
Written and Composed by Heikki Klemetti
See more »

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User Reviews

 
When Hell freezes over.
31 March 2001 | by darkmage7280See all my reviews

This movie explores the mostly unknown, and extremely bloody part of Second World War, the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939-40. For 105 days the Finns fought a numerically superior enemy before the war ended with 25,000 Finns and over 200,000 Russians dead. Forget Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line, this movie shows what desperate war against overwhelming odds is about; desperation, lack of ammunition, constant bombardment, and nothing but your wits and your rifle to help you survive. Rightfully, the horrors of war are shown having effect on both sides; Finns are pinned down to the point of hardly living at all in dirt and constant fear of death, while Russians are mowed down in hundreds and mercilessly shot in the back. Excellent performances, good effects and marvelous photography makes this masterpiece not only one of the finest Finnish movies ever, but also a reminder that war is brutal, bloody, futile, and that it's the men on the front, Finnish or Russian, who have to die and bear the price for mankind's ultimate stupidity. Word of warning: violence is very graphic at times, especially in the close combat scenes.


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