This film is part of Free

Men of Norway

A shipment of dried cod bound for Germany is sprayed with kerosene by a young Norwegian in one of the more inventive acts of anti-Nazi sabotage from this gripping film.

1941 20 mins


A group of Norwegians stage a daring escape across the North Sea in the dramatic centrepiece of this Academy Award-nominated March of Time report from 1941. The sighting of a surfacing submarine provides a genuine moment of nail-biting tension. Various forms of resistance, from setting up of shortwave radio transmitters to digging up railway lines are shown in recreated sequences which vividly depict the inventiveness and bravery of the young people of Nazi-occupied Norway.

A perfectly pitched blend of reconstructed scenes and genuine footage combined with an informative commentary - characterised by the nonchalant humour of the Norwegian speaker - earned this March of Time issue a deserved Academy Award nomination. The depiction of a raid on a Nazi radio station and oil refinery features authentic film of Nazis being rounded-up and blindfolded, adding a note of real-life drama to the reconstructed sequences and boosting morale at the same time. One of the nicest features of the film is the prominence of Scandinavian knitwear featuring snowflakes, deer and trees: an unofficial uniform wholly in line with the self-deprecating bravery of the Norwegian resistance itself.