The Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

Genres - War  |   Sub-Genres - Resistance Film, War Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 30, 1942 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Scripted by Irwin Shaw from a story by C. S. Forester (of "Captain Horatio Hornblower" fame), Commandos Strike at Dawn is a wartime morale-booster, largely set in coastal Norway. Paul Muni stars as Eric Toresen, an apolitical and basically pacifistic Norwegian fisherman who is galvanized into action when his village is occupied by the Nazis. With a group of courageous resistance fighters, Toresen first endeavors to sabotage and demoralize the German troops then escapes to Britain, there to help organize commando raids against his country's oppressors. The supporting cast includes Anna Lee as the hero's true love, Alexander Knox (two years away from his starring stint in the patriotic biopic Wilson) as an icy Nazi commandant, Cedric Hardwicke as a stiff-upper-lip British officer, and Lillian Gish (in her first film appearance since 1931) as an iron-willed Norwegian townsperson.

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Keywords

commando, fisherman, Nazi, Norway, resistance-fighters, sabotage, village, world-war