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Edge of Darkness -- Underrated Resistance Movie


rosebette
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I happened to be on break this week and got to see The Edge of Darkness, about the Norwegian resistance against the Nazis. The movie was meticulously cast and a powerful ensemble piece. Although Errol Flynn is the hero, it's hardly a typical Flynn vehicle, as those in supporting roles, such as Walter Huston, were as prominent. There was so much character development in so many of the supporting roles as they move from fear and complacency to resisitance. Ann Sheridan was also top notch and has a pivotal moment in the film; I think she was truly underrated. The camera work at the end was also excellent; the battles really moved. I was surprised how well this movie holds up today.

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I agree. I just saw this film for the first time today and was moved by the story and impressed with the film making...it really drew you in. (I also noticed there were camera zoom ins that I never noticed before in other older movies before the '60s/'70s.)

I've been watching a lot of the WWII drama movies made in the '40s/'50s on TCM that I never saw before...I always watched the Classics like "Best years of our lives", "Casablanca" etc. but, now I'm catching up with the lesser known. "Edge of Darkness" prompted me to look up online if this was a real town and if this happened like the movie...based on a novel it seems the town was fiction, 'tho there was in reality resistance in Norway as in other occupied countries & entire towns of civilians wiped out by the Nazis.

What I kept thinking about was that this movie was made and shown in theaters as the actual war raged on...what did movie-goers think? How did they react? This movie showed ordinary town people drawn into fighting the enemy...it must've brought the war terrifyingly closer in their minds.

 

BTW, what happened to the British agent disguised as a Nazi? I lost track of him.

 

Edited by: swimminginaqua on Jul 17, 2013 2:15 AM

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I agree, rosebette, that Edge of Darkness is a generally effective resistance movement war drama, benefiting, in particular, from some outstanding camerawork, particularly in the film's closing burst of action.

 

While it suffers today, as do all films made at that time, from the propaganda of the screenplay, as well as some at-times pretentious dialogue ("In days to come people will say, 'There were giants here in Trollness,'") it often works quite effectively on a dramatic, some may say, melodramatic, level.

 

It has an outstanding ensemble cast, with a particularly noteworthy performance, I feel, of considerable intensity from Helmut Dantine as the ruthless Nazi commandant. Errol Flynn gives a quite subdued performance as a fisherman leading the resistance movement.

 

As you watch Flynn's performance, by the way, be aware that this film was made at a time of genuine turmoil for the actor, inasmuch as it was during the production of this film that he was charged with statutory rape.

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