Nine Lives (1957 film)

Nine Lives (Norwegian: Ni Liv) is a 1957 Norwegian film about Jan Baalsrud, a commando and member of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. Trained in Britain, in 1943, he participated in an operation to destroy a German air control tower. This mission was compromised when he and his fellow soldiers accidentally made contact with a civilian rather than a Resistance member, who betrayed them to the Nazis.

Ni Liv
Nine Lives 1957 film.jpg
Norwegian classics DVD cover
Directed byArne Skouen
Produced byArne Skouen
Written byArne Skouen
StarringJack Fjeldstad
Henny Moan
Alf Malland
Joachim Holst-Jensen
Rolf Søder
Distributed byLouis de Rochemont Associates
Release date
  • 11 November 1957 (1957-11-11)
Running time
96 minutes

The film was directed by Arne Skouen and is based on the book We Die Alone (1955) by British author David Howarth.[1]

In 1958, the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film[2] and was entered into the Cannes Film Festival.[3] In 1991, Norwegian television audiences voted it the greatest Norwegian film ever made.[citation needed]


The morning after their blunder, the resistance fighters are attacked by a German vessel. The Norwegians' boat contains 8 tons of explosives intended to destroy the air control tower. The commandos explode their payload, and Baalsrud and some other survivors flee. They swim ashore in ice cold Arctic waters. Baalsrud is the only one to escape the Nazi roundup. Soaking wet and missing one shoe, he escapes up a ravine, and shoots and kills a Gestapo officer.

Baalsrud evades capture for roughly two months, during which time he suffers from frostbite and snow blindness. He fails in his bid to reach the border of neutral Sweden and throws himself on the mercy of some Norwegians who have access to the Norwegian underground. While hiding in their barn, he amputates most of his frostbitten toes with an ordinary knife, because gangrene has set in.

The fellow Norwegians manage to move Baalsrud close to the Swedish border, but are forced to leave him in a snow cave for roughly two weeks. They made a new plan to get him over the border, having him transported by a reindeer herder, who finally gets him across the frontier to safety.

Baalsrud recuperates in a Swedish hospital for seven months. He returns to England through South Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and America before rejoining the fight.[4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Howarth, David (1955). We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance. Collins. ISBN 978-1-59921-063-6. Republished 2007 by the Lyons Press.
  2. ^ "The 30th Academy Awards (1958) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Nine Lives". Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  4. ^ "Eventyret om Oppegård (Norwegian)". 2001. Retrieved 2006-07-10.

External linksEdit