7.8/10
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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 »
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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:

FIM 23,500,000 (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

Jussi Kantola: They ordered us to drive the Russians away from our positions. I'm going to the headquarters to ask them: with what men?
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Follows Pohjanmaa (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Jääkärimarssi
Composed by Jean Sibelius
Lyrics by Heikki Nurmio
See more »

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User Reviews

An unknown gem--one of the most powerful war films ever made.
18 February 2000 | by NORDIC-2See all my reviews

TALVISOTA (Winter War) deals with the 1939-40 Russo-Finnish War, a largely forgotten conflict that was one of the most savage wars of the 20th century. The Soviet Union invaded Finland in November of 1939 when the Finns refused Stalin's demands to relinquish some of their territory in Karelia. The Finns were outnumbered 50-1 but fought with incredible courage and tenacity and inflicted a half million casualties on the Soviets before they were forced to capitulate in March of 1940. The Russians were equally brave but not as smart; they stormed well defended positions en mass and were mowed down by the hundreds. TALVISOTA brilliantly captures the horror and carnage of that war and all wars. Disturbing and depressing but also a gripping and deeply moving experience. Makes SAVING PRIVATE RYAN look like a walk in the park.


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