Honour Is The First Casualty Of War

Honour Is The First Casualty Of War

Static Mass Rating: 1/5

Release date: January 17th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 93 minutes
Lanuage: German with English subtitles

Director: Haakon Gundersen

Cast: Lene Nystrøm, Gotz Otto, Kare Conradi, Hary Prinz, Jorgen Langhelle and Michelle Phillips

Betrayal is a 2009 Norwegian film (original title Svik) which tells the story of Eva (Lene Nystrøm) a singer at Club Havana in 1933, Oslo, Germany. She’s also a British double agent working part-time for the Gestapo.

It begins in present time where Eva is now a grandmother (played by Michelle Phillips) living in California and recounting her tale to her granddaughter.


Eva recalls her time at the club where the owner, Tor Lindblom, supplies the Nazis with everything they need; from liquor and cigarettes to cement and steel. Tor is in love with Eva but she is busy working undercover to find information on his business partner, SS Major Krüger. Trouble comes in the form of Dr. Walter from the Reich General Auditor’s Office. He arrives in town to check the books for the club and uncovers inconsistencies.

Rather than being the tense thriller that I expected, I found Betrayal to be slow moving and unsure of the story it wanted to tell. The intro contains footage from the Nuremberg Trials where those who collaborated with the Nazis were punished for their war crimes but after a promising start, the movie quickly dwindles. The main problem is that it can’t decide if it wants to be a love story about a doomed couple or something about those who profited from the horrors of World War 2.


Performances are uncaptivating and this is mostly the fault of the patchy script, although Gotz Otto is believable as SS Major Krüger. The German actor stands at 6ft 6½ inches and has previously played SS officers in Schindler’s List (1993) and Downfall (2004) even though Betrayal can’t match the calibre of those films.

Overall, Betrayal is what I’d call a missed opportunity to tell an interesting story.

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