The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.
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Interesting to note that the film was made in 1940, 1 year before America's entry into the European war against Hitler. The movie depicts Germany in 1933. In 1938 the 'night of broken glass' took place. Interesting to note the attitudes portrayed in the film, definitely anti-Nazi. Written by
Although the resolution of the story hinges upon Martin & Freya escaping from Germany, and crossing the border into Austria, before the film was even made, Austria had already become under Nazi control, and so their troubles would not have ended there, by any means. See more »
In the beginning of the film it is morning but the maid says that "the telegrams have been coming all day long". See more »
[white clouds appear; they quickly turn to storm clouds]
When man was new upon the earth, he was frightened by the dangers of the elements. He cried out, "The gods of the lightning are angry, and I must kill my fellow man to appease them!" As man grew bolder, he created shelters against the wind and the rain and made harmless the force of the lightning. But within man himself were elements strong as the wind and terrible as the lightning. And he denied the existence of these ...
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This is probably one of the best anti-Nazi films produced in Hollywood before the US entry into WWII. The film does an excellent job in a very melodramatic "MGM" way of showing how an ordinary town and its citizens willingly and some unwillingly were affected by the state policies that National Socialism brought. It's too bad that the studios didn't make more of these films in those days. A fine cast headed by James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan make this an great film to watch. Watch for early performances by actors Robert Young, Robert Stack and Dan Dailey.
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