'Atlantic Crossing'

John Thomas

Alexander Eik Crown Prince Olav of Norway (Tobais Santelmann), his wife Princess Martha (Sofia Helin) and their three children are concluding their tour of the United States with a dinner in Washington D. C.

The celebration is hosted in the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Kyle MacLachlan) and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt (Harriet Sansom Harris). The dinner goes well, especially for the President who finds Princess Martha to be more than charming. Shortly afterwards the Norwegian Royal family returns home.

King Haarkon VII of Norway (Søren Pilmark) welcomes his returning family but with concerns – how long before Norway falls to the Nazis they wonder? Denmark has already fallen; Sweden perhaps not, as it is a neutral country.

The Norwegian cabinet must devise a plan to save the monarchy and the independence of Norway should there be a Nazi invasion. The family could always flee to relatives in Sweden or perhaps Britain would take them in.

To maintain governance of the country, the king and crown prince will remain in Europe, seeking asylum in England, and, for safety reasons, the Princess and the children will travel to the United States as refugees. President Roosevelt offers to transport the family on a U. S. war ship.

They are warmly welcomed to the White House where the fondness Martha and Franklin earlier shared is rekindled. The family must now find a home. Some suggest one in Massachusetts – Roosevelt thinks otherwise.

Fortunately for him, a home is found within driving distance of the White House so he and Martha can continue their flirtatious behavior and their increasing dependence on one another. Tensions are mounting in the United States as more pleas come from U. S. allies in Europe seeking help. The law forbids U. S. involvement in any foreign conflict, but with Martha at his side it’s difficult for Franklin to say no.

Enter the term lend lease, Franklin’s idea to circumvent the U. S. participating in the war but still helping out. He won’t sell arms, planes and ships to Europe but will lend them on a lease basis. They are to be returned at the end of the war.

With that issue put to rest, Franklin and Martha must now deal with their relationship. The Crown Prince is concerned that his wife is more attached to Franklin than she is to her family and country. The White House staff sees the president being too influenced by Martha.

To resolve these problems Martha decides to distance herself from Franklin by returning to Europe or at best not visiting the White House. She says a tearful goodbye.

To answer the ever-present question of when will the U.S. send much-needed armaments to Europe, Franklin decides to decommission a U. S. warship, rename it for the king and send it to Norway. His only caveat is that Martha be present to accept the ship. If she does not appear, he will name the ship “King Leopold” and send it to Belgium instead. Quite a dilemma for all concerned.

When a film or TV presentation states the story is based on true events, the viewer will likely know how the film ends. Director Alexander Eik, his cast and crew use their talents to weave fact and fiction into a tapestry that is a “should see” presentation.



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