Producer Benjamin Fisz and director Anthony Mann have made a $5.6 million motion picture that emerges as hefty, gripping and carefully made entertainment.
It’s 1942 in Nazi-occupied Norway. The Germans are ahead of the Allies on atomic fission, as reports from the Norsk Hydro heavy water factory near Telemark reveal. It’s the job of a tiny band of nine resistance workers to scotch the Nazi plans.
Kirk Douglas, as the scientist drawn unwillingly into the exploit, and Richard Harris, as the resistance leader, turn in powerhouse performances. They detest each other on sight (never satisfactorily explained) but learn to respect and grudgingly like each other during mutual danger. Ulla Jacobsson, as Douglas’ ex-wife, also fighting for the resistance, has a sketchy role but plays it with charm and conviction.
Krasker’s work over ice and snow-girt Norway is a joy. Craftily he used Helge Stoylen, a Norwegian ski coach, to help out on some lensing. Stoylen held a Panavision camera between his legs for some of the graceful and gripping ski shots.