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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heroes Of Telemark (1965)

In 1944 Norway which is under Nazi occupation, a group of resistance fighters attempt to sabotage a factory which is producing heavy water which will be used in the development for the first atomic bomb. Based on a true story, Anthony Mann directs this WWII diverting action adventure but with none of the distinction that earmarks his best films. A few years later, this kind of thing would be done better with WHERE EAGLES DARE. It's kind of hard to accept Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris as Norwegians, not surprisingly the Swedish Ulla Jacobsson (Bergman's SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT) is more convincing. The snowbound landscapes are handsomely photographed in wide screen Panavision courtesy of Robert Krasker (EL CID) and Malcolm Arnold keeps things stirred up with his regal score and the film's last ten minutes are filled with genuine nail biting tension but mostly it feels generic, lacking a strong sense of focus. With Michael Redgrave, Anton Diffring, Barry Jones, Geoffrey Keen, Mervyn Johns and Faith Brook.


  1. One good thing about Kirk is that no matter what nationality he is called to play, he plays it straight, he never tries an accent. Many actors go for an accent and, oy!
    I have not seen WHERE EAGLES DARE, although it is not hard to believe this basic story was done better. This version, however has good action and is fun to watch.

    Even though it is based on a true story some things ring as very made up and are damn irritating, but I still love the movie.

  2. I agree that it's best to not even attempt an accent if you're not up to it. If you enjoyed HEROES OF TELEMARK, by all means seek out WHERE EAGLES DARE. There's every likelihood you'll enjoy it.