6.8/10
579
20 user 8 critic

Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942)

A gentle widower, enraged at Nazi atrocities against his peaceful Norwegian fishing village, escapes to Britain and returns leading a commando force against the oppressors.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

Irwin Shaw (screen play), C.S. Forester (story)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A student nurse falls in love with a young intern in 1910 Baltimore, but tragedy ensues when he contracts a fatal disease.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Veronica Lake, Sonny Tufts, Joan Caulfield
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A scheming mother wishes to make a succesful match between her daughter and a prince, yet another man, a commoner, may stand in the way.

Director: Paul L. Stein
Stars: Lillian Gish, Rod La Rocque, Conrad Nagel
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Priam Farrel is a celebrated artist but a social recluse. When his valet dies of a sudden illness, a mix-up leads to the body being identified as Farrel's. The timid artist then assumes the... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Hopkins
Stars: Roland Young, Lillian Gish, Montagu Love
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After having a child out of wedlock, a young Puritan woman is pressured to reveal the name of her lover.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall
La Bohème (1926)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of starving artists try to survive in 1830s Paris, including a seamstress and the would-be playwright she loves.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renée Adorée
The Comedians (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A cynical Welsh hotel owner secretly romances a diplomat's wife in Haiti, under the violent reign of the despot "Papa Doc" Duvalier.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness
A Wedding (1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a Louisville truck driver marries the scion of a very wealthy family, but reception at the family estate is boycotted by the invited guests.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Desi Arnaz Jr., Paul Dooley
Annie Laurie (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of the famous battle between the Scots clans of Macdonald and Campbell, and the young woman who comes between them, Annie Laurie.

Director: John S. Robertson
Stars: Lillian Gish, Norman Kerry, Creighton Hale
Lucky Star (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The young village minister was not quite as discreet as he might have been in fulfilling the strange trust left by the dying mother, but it certainly worked for the common good. By the ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Mary Pickford, Charles Hill Mailes, Kate Bruce
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After a hard struggle the old man has just saved enough money to justify the marriage of his daughter and adopted son, when word comes from the oil fields nearby that his brother has lost ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: W. Chrystie Miller, Lillian Gish, Robert Harron
Romance | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A very pretty girl, is always surrounded by many male admirers, much to the dismay of one very shy fellow, who never can get a chance to speak with her. One day the girl visits a friend in ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Walter Miller, Mary Pickford, Robert Harron
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Muni ... Eric Toresen
Anna Lee ... Judith Bowen
Lillian Gish ... Mrs. Bergesen
Cedric Hardwicke ... Admiral Bowen (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Ray Collins ... Johan Bergesen
Robert Coote ... Robert Bowen (as Flying Officer Robert Coote RCAF)
Rosemary DeCamp ... Hilma Arnesen
Alexander Knox ... German Captain
Elisabeth Fraser ... Anna Korstad
Richard Derr ... Gunnar Korstad
Erville Alderson ... Johan Garme
Barbara Everest Barbara Everest ... Mrs. Olav
Rod Cameron ... Pastor
Louis Jean Heydt ... Karl Arnesen
George Macready ... Schoolteacher
Edit

Storyline

Erik Toresen, widower and fishery observer, leads a quiet life in a small Norwegian town; but after the Nazi occupation, German abuses lead Erik to form a Resistance group. After a killing, Erik flees to the wilderness and finds a secret German air base; he resolves to escape to England with its location. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At Last On The Screen! The Mighty Story Of The World-Famous COMMANDOS! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ataque al amanecer See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bristol Bolingbroke (Canadian versions of the Blenheim) light bombers and Westland Lysander liaison aircraft were painted up with German Balkankreuz markings to stand in for unavailable Luftwaffe types. See more »

Goofs

When Eric Toresen (Paul Muni) left his daughter at Mrs. Olav's house and went into the mountains, he left behind the jacket he arrived with. Later after coming back down from the mountain, and without returning to Mrs. Olav's place, he has his jacket on again. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Korstad: [advising her daughter-in-law at her wedding reception] Do not permit yourself to get fat. Fat has ruined more marriages than actresses and pretty widows.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Dedicated to the officers and men of the armed forces of Canada, Great Britain and Fighting Norway who participated in the filming of this picture. See more »

Connections

Featured in Reach for Glory (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Commandos March
Written by Ann Ronell and Louis Gruenberg
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An excellent example of WWII Propaganda films
17 March 2007 | by blainefieldingSee all my reviews

For we amateur historians this early WWII American propaganda film is a treasure for its insights into attitudes about the German conquest of Europe.

Among the first of a long line of American propaganda films, it was actually filmed on Vancouver Island in Canada, because of its similarity to the Norwegian landscape. Real British and Canadian commandos were used to play the soldiers, both British and German. {The British and Canadians who had been at war for over two years were eager to assist the newly arrived Americans becoming involved}. The cast and crew stayed at the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria, about 10 miles from the filming site.

The script was adopted from a story by C.S. Forester, the famous British novelist of naval and maritime stories. The script was done by Irwin Shaw who would become a noted American novelist.

The film is probably too idealistic in its portrayal of good-hearted Europeans rising up against their Nazi conquerors. Only after the war did Europeans concoct an heroic resistance. The vast majority at the time however passively accepted German occupation. And for good reason. The Germans took brutal reprisals against any sign of resistance. Unlike in the movie, most conquered peoples kept their heads down and waited for the Allied armies to save them. Nonetheless, the film probably reassured American audiences that Europeans were eagerly awaiting to help liberate the continent from Nazi oppressors.

Btw, I had the opportunity to discuss the making of the movie with Ann Carter, who at age 6 played "Solveig", the daughter of Paul Muni's character. I have added some of her recollections in the comments section.

Blaine in Seattle, U.S.A.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed

 
Batti Gul Meter Chalu 2018 Hindi 720p WEB-DL x264 – 1.2 GB | La Tribu | Mr. House Husband - 살림하는 남자들 - Episode 074 (82 Sub)