Operation Swallow: The Battle for Heavy Water (original title: Kampen om tungtvannet, French title: La Bataille de l’eau lourde) is a Norwegian-French film from 1948.
The history is based on the best known commando raid in Norway during World War II, where the resistance group Norwegian Independent Company 1 destroyed the heavy water plant at Vemork in Telemark in February 1943.
The film is basically a reconstruction of real events, a docudrama, with many of the participants playing themselves in the film. It was filmed on location in Norway.
- Jens-Anton Poulsson as himself.
- Johannes Eckhoff.
- Arne Kjelstrup as himself.
- Claus Helberg as himself.
- Claus Wiese as Joachim Rønneberg.
- Henki Kolstad as Einar Skinnarland.
- Knut Haukelid as himself.
- Fredrik Kayser as himself.
- Hans Storhaug as himself.
- Torstein Skinnarland as himself, the dam keeper.
- Rolf Sørlie as himself.
- Knut Lier-Hansen as himself.
- David Knudsen.
- Harald Schwenzen.
- Raoul Dautry.
- Frédéric Joliot-Curie.
- Lew Kowarski.
- Sigrid Gurie.
It was the second most popular film at the French box office in 1948.
- The 1965 British film The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, was another version of the story.
- Ray Mears presented a documentary called The Real Heroes of Telemark in 2003.
- Despite mainly sticking to the factual evidence, some scenes in the documentary were partly dramatised, focusing on the survival skills involved in the operation.
- Kampen om Tungtvannet is a 2015 mini-series based on the events.
Production & Filming Details
- Jean Dréville.
- Titus Vibe-Müller.
- Nino Constantini … producer.
- Arild Feldborg … producer (as A. Feldborg).
- Jean Marin … (scenario and adaptation).
- Arild Feldborg … (collaboration).
- Diana Robertson … (collaboration).
- Knut Haukelid … (military advisor).
- Jens A. Poulsson … (military advisor).
- Pierre Laroche … (commentary).
- Haakon Bugge Mahrt … (commentaries) (uncredited).
- Gunnar Sønstevold.
- Hilding Bladh.
- Marcel Weiss.
- Jean Feyte.
- Titus Vibe-Müller.
- Hero Film.
- Filmsonor (1948) (France) (theatrical).
- Fotorama (1948) (Norway) (theatrical).
- Fotorama (1952) (Norway) (theatrical) (re-release).
- Fotorama (1961) (Norway) (theatrical) (re-release).
- Statens Filmsentral (1990) (Norway) (VHS).
- Release Date: 05 February 1948 (Norway) and 13 February 1948 (France).
- Running Time: 98 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: Norway and France.
- Language: Norwegian.