Now Streaming: GOLD RUN, Norwegians vs Nazis, Never Give Up

Jon Øigarden, Sven Nordin, Axel Bøyum, Thorbjørn Harr, and Ida Elise Broch star in the thriller, directed by Hallvard Bræin, now streaming on Viaplay.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: GOLD RUN, Norwegians vs Nazis, Never Give Up

Planes, trains, and automobiles figure prominently in the World War II thriller, based on a true story.

Gold Run
Now streaming on Viaplay, available in North America via Amazon's Prime Video Channels.

Meticulous to a fault, Fredrik Haslund (Jon Øigarden) is an unassuming parliament secretary who takes his job very seriously. When German soldiers suddenly arrive in Oslo, Norway, in April 1940, Fredrik insists on returning to the office instead of accompanying his dear wife and their beloved child as they flee to safety in a countryside cabin.

"You're only a secretary!" his wife says, not fully realizing, due to security restrictions, what it is that his job entails and the much weightier responsibility that will soon be thrust upon him. Fredrik is charged with transporting Norway's gold reserves, some 50 tonnes of gold bars, to a safe location.

No easy task! Loading the gold bars onto lorries, and transporting them to a secure bank vault located some distance away, is strenuous and stressful in itself, but it seems as though the job is done. Not so fast: word soon comes that the Nazis are advancing, and they are fully aware that the gold bars have been spirited away.

Nazis need money to fuel their war machine, and stealing the basis for Norway's national economy sounds like the perfect fit for them. Led by a commanding officer who does not hesitate to use torture and the very real threat of death, the Nazis are relentless in their pursuit of the gold.

Though he looks like a meek accountant, Fredrik Haslund shows his spine when he must stand up to Sonde, the intimidating commanding leader of the Norwegian military escort. Fredrik is a civilian through and through, even as Sonde is a military man through and through, which makes their clashes inevitable. As a military man, though, Sonde knows he must obey the line of command, even if all that Fredrick to prove his appointment is a piece of paper shoved in his hand as he begins the mission.

This is a terrific premise for a real-life historical thriller, and it inspired Marie McSwigen to write her novel Snow Treasure, which was first published in 1942, telling the story of children who use their snow sleds to sneak gold bullion past Nazis to a waiting ship. The novel served as the basis for a movie of the same title, released in 1968, which left a deep and lasting impression on me when I saw it on a big screen in my primary school's auditorium. (The film has not been released on home video, nor is it available on any streaming service.)

Directed by Hallvard Bræin, a former cinematographer (the great Troll Hunter, 2010), the film moves at a fantastic clip and features a torrent of well-staged action sequences, even as it allows for moments that illuminate the characters and encourage the viewer to empathize with ordinary people rising up to meet the challenge.

Jon Øigarden is excellent as Fredrik Haslund, a conscientious man who was a slave to his conscience and always insisted on doing the right thing. He never wields a gun or a knife; instead, a pencil becomes his mightiest weapon. That, and his iron will.

Ida Elise Broch is terrific as Nini, Fredrik's sister, who has a similar disposition and a righteous determination to do the right thing, no matter the cost. Eivand Sander is also very, very good as Major Sunde; every word out of his mouth sounds absolutely authentic.

Morten Svartveit plays Nordahl Grieg, a celebrated poet who walks into a military command post on the day of the invasion and joins the fight. Axel Bøyum and Sven Nordin plays a bank clerk and a lorry driver who team up on the journey, becoming unlikely friends and comrades; theirs are among the most endearing performances.

The journey to the sea begins on lorries, moves to a train, back to lorries, then to a ship, then back to lorries, then to the sea. It's an epic trip, fraught with danger, and it's both rousing and a bit scary. Gold Run is fragile and gripping, charged with stirring emotion, and grounded in real-life events. It's a must-see.

Gold Run

  • Hallvard Bræin
  • Thomas Moldestad
  • Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
  • Sofia Lersol Lund
  • Jon Øigarden
  • Ida Elise Broch
  • Sven Nordin
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Axel BøyumHallvard BræinIda Elise BrochJon ØigardenSven NordinThorbjørn HarrViaplayThomas MoldestadJørgen Storm RosenbergSofia Lersol LundDramaThrillerWar

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