GenreDrama, War Story byVaino Linna LanguageFinnish
WriterVeikko Aaltonen, Vaino Linna Release date1985 (1985) CastRisto Tuorila (Koskela), Pirkka-Pekka Petelius (Hietanen), Kari Väänänen (Lammio), Paavo Liski (Rokka), Mika Mäkelä (Rahikainen), Pertti Koivula (Lahtinen) Similar moviesAmbush (1999), Beyond the Front Line (2004), The Cuckoo (2002), Crime and Punishment (1983), Cross of Iron (1977)
The Unknown Soldier (Finnish: Tuntematon sotilas) is a Finnish 1985 film directed by Rauni Mollberg. It is a remake of the 1955 film of the same title, directed by Edvin Laine and based on the best selling Finnish novel by the same name written by Väinö Linna.
It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 59th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
Set against the events of the Finnish continuation war, the film follows a machine gun troops journey into Soviet Union. The troop includes the simple-minded Hietanen, the jokey Vanhala, the cynical Lahtinen, the cowardly Riitaoja and grumpy Lehto. The film also follows the command officers, such as the happy and slightly senile Captain Kaarna, the young and idealistic Captain Kariluoto and the strict and unsympathetic Lieutenant Lammio. They face many struggles, such as seeing the supportive Kaarna die in their first battle, three of the soldiers refusing to leave their punishment post during an air-raid as well as defending the trenches after the Finns have taken back parts of Karelia. Part of the way, the troop is joined by Rokka, a Karelian veteran of the winter war, who also clashes with Lammio due to having little respect for military discipline despite being an excellent and capable soldier.
Risto Tuorila – Koskela
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius – Hietanen
Paavo Liski – Rokka
Mika Mäkelä – Rahikainen
Pertti Koivula – Lahtinen
Tero Niva – Vanhala
Ossi-Ensio Korvuo – Määttä
Mikko Niskanen – Salo
Pauli Poranen – Lehto
Hannu Kivioja – Riitaoja
Juha Riihimäki – Sihvonen
Seppo Juusonen – Susi
Timo Virkki – Honkajoki
Vesa Ala-Seppälä – Hauhia
Risto Hetta – Vuorela
Mollberg used young and unknown actors, many of them now famous. The film was shot in color with much hand-held footage, attempting to portray the story more realistically than the prior Edvin Laine version. This has often lead to unfavourable comparisons with the better-known 1955 adaption. Although a full musical score was composed for the movie, Mollberg released the finished film without it for stylistic reasons.