Review: ‘The Commandos Strike at Dawn’

This production has been endowed with all the facilities required to emerge as an exciting tale of the bloodless Nazi subjugation of the people of Norway - and the spirit that prompts a group of Nordics to break the grip of Hitlerian despotism. It is a film [from a story by C.S. Forester] that is frequently slow, sometimes belabored, and occasionally unbelievable in its sentimental dramatics but, withal, one that is a must-see because of its impending - and frequently realized - sense of excitement.

This production has been endowed with all the facilities required to emerge as an exciting tale of the bloodless Nazi subjugation of the people of Norway – and the spirit that prompts a group of Nordics to break the grip of Hitlerian despotism. It is a film [from a story by C.S. Forester] that is frequently slow, sometimes belabored, and occasionally unbelievable in its sentimental dramatics but, withal, one that is a must-see because of its impending – and frequently realized – sense of excitement.

Paul Muni portrays the Nordic fisherman who leads the movement and ultimately the Commando expedition. His is a forthright performance, occasionally underplayed, but always ringing true. Anna Lee is his romantic counterpart, a part acted well, though it’s a role that’s out of place. Commandos and romance don’t strike a favorable note.

The Commandos Strike at Dawn

Production

Columbia. Director John Farrow; Producer Lester Cowan; Screenplay Irwin Shaw; Camera William C. Mellor; Editor Anne Bauchens; Music Louis Gruenberg

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Paul Muni Anna Lee Lillian Gish Cedric Hardwicke Robert Coote Ray Collins
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