Watch The Heroes of Telemark
- 2 hr 11 min
In the early 1940s, the Nazi regime had established their dominance over Europe, leaving only a few pockets of resistance against their brutal rule. The Heroes of Telemark is a 1965 film that tells the story of one such group of fighters, as they pulled off a daring mission to sabotage a Nazi plant which was producing heavy water for their atomic war plans.
The film is based on the true events of Operation Gunnerside, where a team of Norwegian resistance fighters â including members of the country's military â managed to sneak into a heavily guarded factory near Rjukan and destroy its production capabilities. The mission's objective was to halt the Nazi's nuclear program, a task of utmost importance to the Allies, who were already planning their own deployment of atomic bombs in the coming years.
The film is notable for its cast, which includes a young Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris as two of the main protagonists. Douglas takes on the role of Dr. Rolf Pedersen, a physics professor turned saboteur who helps to plan the raid. Harris, meanwhile, portrays Knut Straud, a commander of the Norwegian resistance who leads the team that will infiltrate the factory.
Together, Pedersen and Straud must navigate a number of obstacles as they plan and execute their bold mission. They must overcome the difficulties of Norway's harsh winter climate, avoid detection from the Nazi patrols that are ever-present in the region, and navigate a complex system of tunnels and guard posts that surrounds the plant.
The supporting cast of the film is equally strong, with Ulla Jacobsson playing Anna, a Norwegian woman working at the factory who becomes involved in the resistance's efforts. Roy Dotrice also appears as a British intelligence officer, who assists the team in their mission by providing them with weapons and vital information.
Despite being a war film, The Heroes of Telemark is not solely focused on the action â there is a strong sense of character development throughout the film. The relationships between the various members of the team are explored in depth, providing insight into their motivations and their personalities. There are moments of conflict and tension between them, as they struggle to work together towards a common goal. These scenes are balanced by quieter moments of introspection, where the characters reflect on their roles in the war and the sacrifices they have made.
The film's director, Anthony Mann, is known for his work on classic Westerns and film noir, and his imprint can be seen throughout The Heroes of Telemark. The Norwegian landscapes are filmed with a stark, almost bleak beauty â the snow-covered mountains and icy rivers providing a striking contrast to the dark, industrial setting of the Nazi plant.
The action scenes themselves are expertly staged, with Mann making use of a combination of practical effects and some rather impressive stunt work to create a sense of tension and danger. There are no elaborate special effects or explosions â instead, the film relies on its characters and their ingenuity to carry the story forward.
Overall, The Heroes of Telemark is a powerful and engaging war movie that should appeal to fans of the genre. The film's strong performances, impressive action sequences, and focus on character make it a standout example of its kind. At its core, it is a story of bravery, sacrifice, and the fight against tyranny â a message that remains as relevant today as it did when the film was first released over fifty years ago.
The Heroes of Telemark is a 1965 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.