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Commandos Strike at Dawn
Commandos Strike at Dawn
Actors: Paul Muni, Anna Lee, Lillian Gish, Cedric Hardwicke, Robert Coote
Director: John Farrow
Genres: Drama, Military & War
NR     2003     1hr 38min

Paul Muni stars as Eric Toresen, an apolitical Norwegian fisherman who is galvanized into action when his village is occupied by the Nazis.


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Movie Details

Actors: Paul Muni, Anna Lee, Lillian Gish, Cedric Hardwicke, Robert Coote
Director: John Farrow
Creators: William C. Mellor, Anne Bauchens, Lester Cowan, C.S. Forester, Irwin Shaw
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Classics, Military & War
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/13/2003
Original Release Date: 12/30/1942
Theatrical Release Date: 12/30/1942
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Japanese

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Movie Reviews

Commandos Strike at Dawn
Steven Hellerstedt | 05/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

Hollywood's first reaction to the United States' entry into World War II usually took one of two forms. In the Pacific Theater the movie typically chronicled a valiant, but doomed, defense. Wake Island and Bataan were popular movies of early defeat. When Hollywood turned its attention to the European Theater its early movies celebrated indigenous resistance against Nazism by the intrepid citizens of nations like Czechoslovakia, or, in the case of COMMANDOS STRIKE AT DAWN, Norway.
Paul Muni stars as Eric Toresen, a soft-spoken, pacifistic civil servant whose initial response to the German occupation of the small town he lives in is rather detached. "We civilians," he explains, haven't a right to interfere and oppose the military occupation. "This is not exactly our line." Of course, the occupiers are busy rounding up suspected subversives, imposing their doctrine in the local schools, and confiscating personal property for use in the Fatherland. Before long Toresen realizes that `we must learn from them to become gangsters and thugs.' When Toresen discovers a military airfield being built nearby, he plans to sail to England and organize a commando force to destroy it before it becomes operational.
Muni gives a typically good, understated performance as a gentle man caught in vicious times. Although it contains a quisling or two, COMMANDOS STRIKE AT DAWN fulfills its purpose - explaining to Americans why we fight and generally ennobling the heroic freedom fighters in Nazi occupied Europe. A strong recommendation for this early entry in World War II movies.

Muni, WWII & Tommy-Guns; what more could you want!
C. Burton | Mesa, AZ United States | 12/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This WWII film does have a certain aspect of propaganda to it, but the tense storyline is riveting and will keep you glued to your chair until the last scene (which isn't exactly what you'll be expecting). Muni puts in a fine performance, as always. Overall, an enjoyable war drama."
This movie was made in 1942 off Vancouver Island
Heather C. Mcfarlane | Whitehorse, Yukon | 03/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie was made in 1942, and made use of the HMCS Prince David which was on leave from thrashing around in the Aleutians looking for the Japanese. My father was an officer on that ship at the time, and thoroughly enjoyed the cast, especially Sir Cecil Hardwicke. I've watched the movie, and of course it is propaganda, it was made in 1942. That is part of its charm. Remember that at the time, no one knew who would win the war. Vancouver Island makes a good stand in for Norway, and Paul Muni is some brave! It is superior propaganda and a fun experience."
A good kind of war propaganda--lessons kids should know
Nicholas Dujmovic | Vienna, Virginia | 12/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As a dad, I found this film, though dated and quaint, both a stirring old war movie that boys will like as well as a good opportunity to teach some strategic realities. There are bad people in the world, they make promises and break them and they strive to enslave good people; for the sake of civilization good people often need to do otherwise bad things like fight and even kill. Rough stuff, but this is the fallen nature of this world."