Wednesday, May 21, 2014

War Movie Wednesday - The Heroes of Telemark

Most gamers I know enjoy a good war movie.  Even a bad war movie will sometimes do, or merely something under that huge "Action/Adventure" umbrella gets us all going.  They seem to connect us in some way, whether it's quoting some old favorite down at the shop, doing movie "bits" across the table top, or even trying to re-create or infuse that same cinematic feel in our own battles.  I suppose some of the modern day competitive types might disagree, but for the rest of us miniature wargaming is all about creating the scene and then telling the story.  You know, like in that one movie, with that guy, who did that stuff.

War movies not only provide inspiration and memorable moments to share over and over, they also do a darn good job of keeping our brains entertained when working on the less exciting aspects of our hobby.  Like music, the ball game, audio books, or chatting away with a buddy... an old familiar war movie might be the perfect thing to have playing in the background while filing away at sprue lines on your fusiliers or gluing together another legion of Space Marines.

Turns out, can you find a great number of war movies right on You Tube.  As most gamers have a computer or at least a laptop, iPad, or something that beeps close to their hobby area this works out perfectly.  Something I've wanted to do for awhile is share some of these hidden gems with you on the blog (A few have popped up in the "Military History" posts), and I figured Wednesday aka "Hump Day" would be the best time.  So if I have the time I'll try to post something new every week, but at least a couple every month for sure.

My choices will have more to do with something I thought was interesting and/or entertaining, than necessarily being "The Best" war movies or even high quality films.  As TBS here in the States used to advertise: "Movies for guys that like movies."  With that, I think "War Movie Wednesday" has been properly introduced, so on with this week's feature.

I thought about starting off with a heavy hitter like Zulu, but The Heroes of Telemark will do nicely for my first offering.  Directed by Anthony Mann and starring Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson, and Michael Redgrave, it certainly serves up some big names.  What I find interesting is the subject matter itself.  Stories about the Norwegian resistance is far from being your typical WWII movie, but this also involves Germany's effort to create an atomic bomb.

The Heroes of Telemark (1965)

Filmed on location in Norway and based on a true story, it tells of the Norwegian resistance's efforts to sabotage the manufacture of heavy water for Germany's atomic bomb project.  Kirk Douglas plays Rolf Pedersen, a Norwegian physics professor, who, though originally content to wait out the war, is soon pulled into the struggle by local resistance leader Knut Straud (based on Knut Haukelid, portrayed by Richard Harris).

I'm not going to rate any of these movies (You can!), but I did enjoy this one.  Hopefully you will too.  Certainly good enough for hobby time or maybe even to inspire a new hobby project for somebody.  The next War Movie post promises to be a bit shorter (hopefully posted a bit earlier too), but no less entertaining.  :-)

Bonus Links:

Original Soundtrack by Malcolm Arnold


The Real Heroes of Telemark by Ray Mears (Part 1)

Secrets of World War ll - The Real Heroes of Telemark



  1. Yep, a great movie - historical or not. Anything with old Kirk back then was a winner.

    1. Totally agree! :-) Actually found this while on a Kirk youtube binge.

  2. Some of the dock scenes and ferry were also filmed here in Poole, Dorset (along with plenty of other war films). Here's some info
    I still love this film and it's often on Sunday afternoons here.

    1. Thanks for the link. Yeah, I'd never even heard of it until I found on youtube last year.

  3. This looks to be a fun adventure with your blog. Now I have to find even more free time to keep up. :D

    I'm excited to see what you post each week.

  4. I do like a good war movie. And you were right to save Zulu for later, that's the biggest shot in the locker.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.