The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Unarmed and outnumbered, they stunned the world with their incredible victory.

Set in German-occupied Norway, resistance fighter Knut Straud enlists the reluctant physicist Rolf Pedersen in an effort to destroy the German heavy water production plant in rural Telemark.

The Battle for Heavy Water.
The Heroes of Telemark is directed by Anthony Mann and written by Ben Barzman and Ivan Moffat. It stars Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson, Michael Redgrave and David Weston. Music is by Malcolm Arnold and cinematography by Robert Krasker.
1942, Nazi occupied Norway, and the Germans are making great strides with their plans for atomic weaponry. It’s down to a band of resistance fighters and a scientist to blow up the German heavy water factory located up in the Telemark mountains.
Perhaps it’s stating the obvious considering Mann and Krasker's reputations as quality visualists, but The Heroes of Telemark is a splendid looking war movie. It’s solidly performed by the cast, the story, which is based on a real and crucial incident in the war, is gripping, while some of the tech flourishes shown by Mann for the more pacy scenes are impressive.
Problems only really arise when the film resorts to standard character interactions, shifting focus away from the film’s strength, that of the mission, the planning and execution of such. The script doesn’t really give the characters much to work with, so in truth it’s hard to really care about them in context to their own personal trials and tribulations.
However, such is the visual treats and excellent action choreography on show, it still rounds out as a wholesome meaty war epic well worth investing time with. 7/10

Benton Film Productions by Anthony Mann, Ivan Moffat, Ben Barzman, Knut Haukelid, John Drummond.
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson, Michael Redgrave.

Genres: Action, Drama, History, War

Keywords: world war ii saboteur resistance fighter

11/26/1965

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