The Real Heroes of Telemark (2003)


The Real Heroes of Telemark is a 2003 BBC documentary about the Norwegian heavy water sabotage mission during World War II.


A group of both Norwegian and Britiish specially trained military team re-enacts the WWII mission of the Grouse-Gunnerside commando which was crucial for the Allied Forces in the heavy water atomic bomb war. Focused on the difficulties these men had to endure in a frozen winter environment.

Other Versions

  • The same story was covered in the 1948 Franco-Norwegian film Kampen om tungtvannet (also known as La bataille de l’eau lourde or Operation Swallow: The Battle for Heavy Water).
    • Quite faithful to real events, it even had many of the original Norwegian commandos starring as themselves.
  • The 1965 British film The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, was another version of the story.
  • Kampen om Tungtvannet is a 2015 mini-series based on the events.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Martin Pailthorpe.
  • Producer(s):
    • Dick Colthurst … executive producer.
    • Martin Pailthorpe … producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Martin Pailthorpe.
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
    • Alan Duxbury.
    • Barrie Foster.
  • Editor(s):
    • Rick Holbrook.
  • Production:
    • BBC.
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC.
  • Release Date: 2003.
  • Running Time: 130 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: UK and France.
  • Language: English, French, Norwegian, and German.

Video Link

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