Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Heroes of Telemark
  • Alternative view 1 of The Heroes of Telemark
  • Alternative view 2 of The Heroes of Telemark

The Heroes of Telemark

5.0 1
Director: Anthony Mann

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson


See All Formats & Editions

In this tale of espionage and adventure set during World War II, Norway has fallen under Nazi occupation, and a factory is producing "heavy water" (a key ingredient in the manufacture of atomic weapons), under the order of the German military. Knut Straud (Richard Harris), a leading figure in the Norwegian underground, joins forces with scientist Dr. Rolf Pederson


In this tale of espionage and adventure set during World War II, Norway has fallen under Nazi occupation, and a factory is producing "heavy water" (a key ingredient in the manufacture of atomic weapons), under the order of the German military. Knut Straud (Richard Harris), a leading figure in the Norwegian underground, joins forces with scientist Dr. Rolf Pederson (Kirk Douglas), who is working with British intelligence agents to destroy the factory in hopes of keeping the Atomic Bomb out of Axis hands. However, while originally Straud and Pederson are only supposed to infiltrate the factory as a reconnaissance force while awaiting British troops, the English army is forced to retreat from their plans, leaving the Norwegians to destroy the factory and scuttle a shipment of the "heavy water" all by themselves. Inspired by a true story, The Heroes of Telemark also features Michael Redgrave and Anton Diffring.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The next-to-last movie by director Anthony Mann, and the last film that he finished, The Heroes of Telemark is more of a piece with other big-budget World War II action/adventure epics of its time, than it is with Mann's earlier, modestly proportioned thrillers, such as T-Men and Raw Deal -- though he does try valiantly to give the movie some of the personal, intimate elements seen in those early works. A successor to The Guns of Navarone (from the same studio), The Heroes of Telemark endeavors to tell a story of bravery and daring on a big scale, with lots of major set pieces. In this case, the story concerns the Allied attempts to destroy and disrupt the German nuclear effort in Norway. Mann's movie is more small-scale than, say, The Guns of Navarone and other all-star WWII epics of its time -- indeed, without the presence of Michael Redgrave in a surprisingly small supporting role, the only two box office names here would be Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris (who, in fairness, do enough so that audiences would not have felt cheated in the least). Mann and the script, by American blacklistee Ben Barzman and longtime Hollywood hand Ivan Moffat, attempt to impart an intimate dimension to the story by focusing on the humanitarian objections of Ulla Jacobson's Anna (the Douglas character's ex-wife), and adding one personal story to the array of Norwegian patriots. The former element creates some awkward (and unconvincing) moments in what is, otherwise, a fairly taut script that divides the movie into four sections: A prelude that is highly suspenseful, an informative and engrossing first act in which the sabotage mission is set up, a second act that seems, at first, to be frustratingly anti-climactic, and a third act that nearly loses its way amid those personal elements. It's as though the screenwriters and producers, having decided that Kirk Douglas had engaged in sufficient heroism in the first two-thirds of the film, now had to have room to act, and it distinctly changes the tone of the movie across the last 30 minutes. One other element of the movie that has not played well across the decades is the presence of Roy Dotrice, an actor best known in the years since for his portrayal of nefarious roles, in precisely such a part here, which makes his character's revelation no revelation at all. (And while we're about it, one is glad to see such veterans as Barry Jones and Mervyn Johns in supporting roles, and happy they got the work, but Johns looks decidedly older than his 66 years here, and much too old for the part he is playing). Mann tries to bring some personal touches to the film, but never quite succeeds, and we're left with an efficient but surprisingly low-key big-scale thriller, with some suspense but relatively few of the huge climaxes that audiences were used to in this kind of movie. In fact, it's a bit ironic that one of the biggest distractions to the kind of up-close tension one would expect is the sheer attractiveness of Robert Krasker's solor photography -- the snow-scapes and the skiing sequences are beautiful, and the latter almost hypnotic in their impact.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kirk Douglas Dr. Rolf Pederson
Richard Harris Knut Straud
Ulla Jacobsson Anna
Michael Redgrave Uncle
Anton Diffring Maj. Frick
David Weston Arne
Eric Porter Terboven
Mervyn Johns Col. Wilkinson
Jennifer Hilary Sigrid
Roy Dotrice Jensen, the Mysterious
Barry Jones Prof. Logan
Ralph Michael Nilssen
Maurice Denham Doctor at Hospital
Robert Ayres Gen. Courts
William Marlowe Claus
David Davies Captain of "Galtesund"
Karel Stepanek Hartmuller
Elvi Hale Mrs. Sandersen
Gerard Heinz Ernardt
George Murcell Sturmfuhrer
Russell Waters Mr. Sandersen
Annette Andre Girl Student
Grace Arnold Actor
Robert Bruce Major
Howard Douglas Galtesund Passenger
Paul Hansard German Official
Brian Jackson Norwegian Naval Attache
Alf Joint German Guard on Ferry
Joe Powell Quislings
Pamela Conway Girl in Darkroom
Terry Plummer Actor
Sebastian Breaks Gunnar
John Golightly Freddy
Alan Howard Oli
Patrick Jordan Henrik
Brook Williams Elinar
Wolf Frees Knippelberg
Victor Beaumont German Sergeant
Geoffrey Keen Gen. Bolt
Philo Hauser Businessman
Faith Brook Woman on Bus
Jan Conrad Watchman in Factory

Technical Credits
Anthony Mann Director
Malcolm Arnold Score Composer
Ron Ballanger Special Effects
Ben Barzman Screenwriter
Bert Bates Editor
Robert Cartwright Set Decoration/Design
Ted Clements Set Decoration/Design
Gerry Crampton Stunts
Elsa Fennell Costumes/Costume Designer
Benjamin Fisz Producer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Robert Krasker Cinematographer
Tony Masters Art Director
Ivan Moffat Screenwriter
Syd Pearson Special Effects
Neville Smallwood Makeup
Maude Spector Casting
Bill Warrington Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Heroes of Telemark
1. Chapter 1 [9:33]
2. Chapter 2 [14:06]
3. Chapter 3 [12:41]
4. Chapter 4 [7:06]
5. Chapter 5 [11:59]
6. Chapter 6 [9:18]
7. Chapter 7 [12:33]
8. Chapter 8 [11:23]
9. Chapter 9 [10:08]
10. Chapter 10 [10:36]
11. Chapter 11 [10:00]
12. Chapter 12 [10:39]

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Heroes of Telemark 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
miskers44 More than 1 year ago
This is from a true story of WWII. If it weren't for the Heroes of Telemark, Germany would have probably won the second world war