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Bear Island (1979)

On the remote Norwegian Bear Island, used as a submarine base by the Germans during World War II, U.N. scientist Larsen sends a distress signal using an emergency N.A.T.O. frequency, and is received by scientific vessel Morning Rose.

Director:

Don Sharp

Writers:

David Butler (screenplay), Don Sharp (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Frank Lansing
Vanessa Redgrave ... Heddi Lindquist
Richard Widmark ... Otto Gerran
Christopher Lee ... Lechinski
Barbara Parkins ... Judith Rubin
Lloyd Bridges ... Smithy
Lawrence Dane ... Paul Hartman
Patricia Collins ... Inge Van Zipper
Michael J. Reynolds ... Heyter
Nicholas Cortland Nicholas Cortland ... Jungbeck
August Schellenberg ... Marine Technician
Candace O'Connor Candace O'Connor ... Laboratory Assistant
Joseph Golland Joseph Golland ... Meteorological Assistant
Bruce Greenwood ... Technician
Richard Wren Richard Wren ... Radio Operator
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Storyline

A group of people converge on a barren Arctic island. They have their reasons for being there but when a series of mysterious accidents and murders take place, a whole lot of darker motives become apparent. Could the fortune in buried Nazi gold be the key to the mystery? Donald Sutherland and Vanessa Redgrave investigate. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Frozen Nazi Hell More Devestating Than "The Guns of Navarone" See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 December 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bear Island See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 12,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story element of a movie unit going to Bear Island to make a movie was changed from the source Alistair MacLean novel for this movie. Instead, the group is a team of scientists travelling to Bear Island on a United Nations expedition to research changing weather patterns. See more »

Goofs

When everyone is outside after the generator explosion it is blowing a blizzard, but the flames are rising vertically with minimal wind disturbance rather than being virtually horizontal, revealing that wind machines are being used just on the area where the actors are. See more »

Crazy Credits

Coming Soon Alistair Maclean's GOODBYE CALIFORNIA See more »

Alternate Versions

The Region 1 DVD has certain graphic elements removed. Most notably, the view of the captain Lansing's cabin presents the captain's corpse being handcuffed to bulkhead and another corpse sitting by the desk. (Later the viewer learns it was an SS operative.) However, in the censored version only a glimpse of the captain Lansing's corpse is shown, the SS-man is totally cut out. This censorship severely interferes with the plot, as it is crucial to the novel to understand the motives of captain Lansing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Icebound thriller gets frosty reception
13 April 2001 | by heedarmySee all my reviews

The UK-Canada co-production treaty of the late Seventies produced a lot of dross. "Bear Island" is better than some of its companions but still no classic.

Alistair MacLean's novel was a turgid affair, written at the start of his long decline as a writer. The film-makers wisely ditch most of his plot but the story they substitute, about an icy hunt for wartime Nazi gold, is no masterpiece of originality. Vanessa Redgrave's Norwegian accent comes and goes (at times, she sounds like the Swedish chef from "The Muppets") and Donald Sutherland tries for depth by speaking - very - very - slowly. Anybody who has seen a few of these films won't take long to guess the identity of the "mystery" villain.

On the credit side, the locations are spectacular and Robert Farnon's music score is appropriately portentous. Don Sharp knows how to direct action (he had been brought in a few years earlier to ginger up another MacLean adaptation, "Pupper On a Chain") and the fights are well-staged.


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