Originally titled ‘Kampen Om Narvik,’ ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat‘ AKA ‘Narvik’ is a Norwegian historical drama film. The Erin Skjoldbærg directorial encapsulates the real events of the battle between German and Norway, along with its allied forces, through the lens of fictional soldiers and survivors. At the forefront of the movie is Ingrid Tofte (Kristine Hartgen), who puts her life on the line for her son Ole (Christoph Mathiesen) while her husband, Aslak (Stig Henrik Hoff), revolts for the freedom of their country.
It is a harrowing movie that unveils the trauma of commoners who face the consequences of decisions they never made. But it’s also a tale of heroism and bravery that brought the first defeat to the Nazi regime. If you found this movie to be impeccable and a brilliant portrayal of war and its realities, we have a catalog of similar films to amuse you. You can watch most of these movies like ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
8. Defiance (2008)
‘Defiance’ is a war film based on the book ‘Defiance: The Bielski Partisans.’ The movie entails the true story of the Bielski brothers — Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, and George MacKay), who vow to avenge the death of their parents, who were murdered by the Auxiliary police under German occupiers. In their quest, they encounter a group of Jewish escapees and take them under their wing.
What follows is a gut-wrenching struggle for survival in the Belarus forest and finding hope in dark times. Set in Nazi-Occupied Eastern Europe during WWII, the central theme of the Edward Zwick movie is survivorship and undeserving circumstances of civilians, which is also predominant in ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat.’
7. The King’s Choice (2016)
Helmed by Erik Poppe, ‘The King’s Choice,’ is a biographical war film inspired by the eponymous novel written by Alf R. Jacobsen. Originally titled ‘Kongens Nei,’ it centers on the German invasion of Norway and how the royal family handles the catastrophe. It is an exceptional portrayal of the monarch’s patriotism and choices that led to this lesser-known yet epic tale. With a lifelike representation of the tragedy and similar themes of nationalism, ‘The King’s Choice’ should undoubtedly be a part of your watchlist.
6. The Siege Of Jadotville (2016)
Directed by Richie Smyth, ‘The Siege Of Jadotville’ is an action war film based on the book ‘The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle’ that was inspired by real events and written by Declan Power. The movie is a story of an Irish peacekeeper troop led by Patrick Quinlan (Jamie Dornan) to Katanga to protect the miners. After a turn of events, the battalion is pitted against the French and Belgians and their 3000 mercenaries. Much like ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat,’ the film outlines how the unpredictability of politics and war can squander the lives of innocent people.
5. Unbroken (2014)
‘Unbroken’ is a biographical war movie inspired by Laura Hillenbrand’s novel, ‘Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.’ The film depicts the journey of Olympian Louis Zamperini, AKA Louie (Jack O’Connell), who survives a plane crash and spends 47 days stranded on a raft with two other crew members. However, they are discovered and imprisoned by the Japanese navy as prisoners of war. The men are then forced to endure many atrocities induced by the Japanese army. This inspiring film has all the essential elements of ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat,’ such as the strength of the human spirit and the importance of hope.
4. Anthropoid (2016)
‘Anthropoid’ is a historical drama film that entails the true story of Operation Anthropoid, a mission in which two Czech soldiers assassinate the highest-ranking official of the Nazi era, SS General Reinhard Heydrich. Jozef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan) scout and plan in Czechoslovakia as the political tensions increase and obstacles skyrocket while attempting the assassination. The film is directed and co-written by Sean Ellis, who masterfully displays the mission and creates a suspenseful atmosphere throughout the runtime.
3. Max Manus: Man of War
Based on the young Norwegian revolter Max Manus, ‘Max Manus: Man of War’ is a biographical war film that showcases the rise of the titular character (Aksel Hennie) from a commoner to the leader of a movement against the German occupation in Norway. The movie also explores his PTSD, personal demons, struggles with women, and everything that stemmed from his involvement in World War II.
Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg did their best to pay homage to the country’s war hero through this Norwegian cinematic gem. The revolt and retaliation angle in ‘Max Manus: Man of War’ is similar to ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat.’ Moreover, both movies have the flare and grit of Norwegian cinema.
2. The 12th Man (2017)
‘The 12th Man’ or ‘Den 12. Mann’ is a Norwegian film that serves as an adaptation of Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen’s book ‘Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Save Him.’ Directed by Harald Zwart, the historical drama centers on Jan Baalsrud (Thomas Gullestad), who is sent on a mission with 12 saboteurs (Norwegian resistance fighters) to wreck a German ship. However, their plan goes southwards, and the men are captured.
Though Jan manages to escape the Nazis, he faces several mental and physical hardships along the way. The movie’s commitment to being historically accurate and displaying the moral dilemmas faced by Jan’s helpers is commendable. The narrative, setting, and unique visual style of storytelling will remind the viewers of ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat.’
1. Land of Mine (2015)
‘Land of Mine,’ also titled ‘The Under Sandet,’ is a Danish historical war drama film inspired by real gruesome events about the German prisoners of war who were forced to clear the landmines on a beach in Denmark after World War II. A Danish sergeant, Carl Leopold Rasmussen (Roland Møller), is entrusted with supervising these young German soldiers.
Initially, Carl is full of hatred for them but slowly grows compassionate. Director Martin Zandvliet exhibits the impact of wars that poison both sides on the battlefront. Moreover, both movies are bound to influence you with themes of human compassion and unwavering bravery.
Read More: Is Narvik Based On A True Story?