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The 12th Man (2017)

Den 12. mann (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, History, Thriller | 4 May 2018 (USA)
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They were 12 saboteurs. The Nazis killed 11 of them. This is the true story of the one who got away...

Director:

Harald Zwart

Writer:

Petter Skavlan (as Alex Boe)
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2,124 ( 244)
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Gullestad ... Jan Baalsrud
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Kurt Stage
Marie Blokhus Marie Blokhus ... Gudrun Grønvoll
Mads Sjøgård Pettersen ... Marius Grønvoll
Vegar Hoel ... Sigurd Eskeland
Håkon T. Nielsen ... Erik Reichelt
Eirik Risholm Velle Eirik Risholm Velle ... Per Blindheim
Daniel Frikstad Daniel Frikstad ... Gabriel Salvesen
Eric Dirnes Eric Dirnes ... Bjørn Norman Bolstad
Alexander Zwart Alexander Zwart ... Sjur Ludvigsen Trovåg
Torgny Gerhard Aanderaa Torgny Gerhard Aanderaa ... Sverre Odd Kverhellen
Håkon Smeby ... Harald Peter Ratvik
Axel Barø Aasen ... Frithjof Meyer Haugland
Ole Victor Corral Ole Victor Corral ... Magnus Johan Kvalvik
Kim Jøran Olsen ... Nils 'Nigo' Nilsen
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Storyline

True World War II story about Jan Baalsruds, one of the 12 saboteurs sent in 1943 from England to the Nazi occupied Northern Norway. After their boat is sunk by the Germans, Jan goes on the run towards the neutral Sweden. However, the brutal weather conditions turn out to possibly be an even greater foe than the Nazi patrols.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Norway

Language:

English | Norwegian | German | Saami

Release Date:

4 May 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 12th Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Lyngen, Troms, Norway See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The background actor Ottar Pedersen was one of those who helped Jan Baalsrud when he was 14 years old. See more »

Connections

Remake of Nine Lives (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Playing the Long Survival Game!
7 July 2019 | by spookyrat1See all my reviews

Move over Rambo! Here comes Jan Baalsrud, arguably Norway's greatest WW2 Resistance hero, who I admit to never having heard a thing about, until seeing this movie. The 12th Man is based on his true story of escape and survival from a compromised and failed Norwegian Resistance commando raid in Northern Norway in 1943. He was the only escapee from his squad of twelve and was able to evade capture from the occupying German forces for over two months, despite suffering from frostbite, gangrene from a gun shot wound and snow blindness. His deteriorating physical condition forced him to rely on the assistance of Norwegian patriots. The 12th Man is as much about their stories of helpfulness under fear of German reprisals, as it is about Baalsrud's own amazing wilderness ordeal.

I've seen a few of director Harold Zwart's earlier Hollywood productions, but nothing quite like, or as good as The 12th Man. Apparently the Dutch-born, but Norwegian-raised Zwart, has long sought to do a story about this Norwegian folk-hero, about whom has had books written and a previous film made about his exploits. Baalsrud himself, during his lifetime, was at pains to stress the importance of the help he received from local folk along the journey and this production has clearly aimed to provide those sort of kudos.

"The 12th Man" is also first rate in technical and design aspects, utilising frequently spectacular widescreen location photography of alpine valleys, snow-capped mountain ranges and icy fjords by Geir Hartly Andreassen. I was staggered to find out that Thomas Gullestad who plays the central role of Baalsrud, is normally a hip hop artist and not a trained actor in any professional sense. Though he doesn't have a huge number of lines to rattle off, he is incredibly convincing in demonstrating the enormous physical and psychological challenges Baalsrud had to overcome in surviving situations, he really didn't have any right to survive. Likewise, Irishman Jonathan Rhys Meyers' impressive German-speaking turn as Col. Kurt Stage, the Gestapo officer obsessed with tracking Baalsrud down, provides a villain whose rage simmers under a rigid surface rather than bursting into stereotypical tantrums.

The film is by no means perfect. At a lumbering 135 minutes it's overlong. I feel the imagined delusional scenes and conversations with a ghostly doppelgänger are just overkill. Similarly the extended sequences of confinement in his ice cave and "The Hotel Savoy" could have been much more tightly edited, rather than being allowed to drag on to the point of near tedium. However for those sticking around to the end, I have to say that the crossing into neutral Sweden is brilliantly conceived and choreographed, supposedly (just about) true and incredibly emotionally uplifting. It even almost makes some sense given the part of the world in which it took place. The 12th Man is well worth a look.


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