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After a failed anti-Nazi sabotage mission leaves his eleven colleagues dead, a Norwegian resistance fighter finds himself fleeing the Gestapo through the snowbound reaches of Scandinavia.
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The 12th Man (Norwegian: Den 12. mann) is a 2017 Norwegian historical drama directed by Harald Zwart. Thomas Gullestad stars as the protagonist Jan Baalsrud, who escapes from occupying Nazi Germans in Rebbenesøya, via Lyngen Fjord and Manndalen, to neutral Sweden in the spring of 1943.The film, which is based on historical events, was adapted from the book Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Saved Him (2001), written by Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen Scott. Producer Veslemoey Ruud Zwart secured the film rights for this book in 2004.The book and its film adaptation have the same protagonist as Arne Skouen's Oscar-nominated film Nine Lives (1957), in which Baalsrud's courage and stamina were also emphasized. Jan Baalsrud's story was also told in We Die Alone by David Howarth.Unlike the book on which it is based, The 12th Man emphasizes the efforts of those who helped Baalsrud escape, which is in line with Baalsrud's own statements about the local population's courage. The plot also details the pursuit of Baalsrud from the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) leadership's perspective, depicting the escape as a cat-and-mouse game between Sturmbannführer Kurt Stage and Baalsrud.According to German documents, the Nazis believed that the resistance group had perished in a blast. There are no reports indicating that the Germans knew to hunt for Baalsrud, who claims that he killed two German soldiers in the fight.
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