The Heroes of Telemark (Mann, 1965)

A bloated and numbing WWII commando picture from Anthony Mann set in the Norwegian Alps as the Resistance attempts to thwart the Nazi’s from developing atomic capabilities. Kirk Douglas stars as the professor turned freedom fighter (an absolutely ridiculous transition) and Richard Harris phones it in as the local color. A number of large action set pieces impress Mann’s grand vision of landscape, but none of his patented conflicted human psychology can be found here. This is the last of Mann’s uber budget epics and it displays all of the brilliant on-location cinematography and no substance one would expect from such a project. It’s sad Mann went this route late in his career since his bread and butter character studies will live on as genuine masterpieces of their respective day.

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