The Mortal Storm (1940)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  14 June 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,041 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 22 critic

The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930's. When the Nazi's come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.



(screen play), (screen play) (as Andersen Ellis) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Breitner
Fritz Marberg
Professor Roth
Otto Von Rohn
Mrs. Roth
Erich Von Rohn
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Mrs. Breitner
Gene Reynolds ...
Russell Hicks ...
William Edmunds ...
Esther Dale ...
Holl (as Dan Dailey Jr.)
Granville Bates ...
Professor Berg


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 Matt Goodwin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

german | alps | nazi | engagement | village | See All (76) »


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La tempête qui tue  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Reports claimed that uncredited co-producer Victor Saville actually directed large portions of the film. See more »


[first lines]
[white clouds appear; they quickly turn to storm clouds]
Narrator: 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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Featured in Shining Through (1992) See more »


Academic Festival Overture
(1880) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
In the score when Professor Roth enters the school
Sung in Latin by all in his class
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great performances;Fantastic unknown movie
12 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you are a true fan of human drama and don't need high-tech or low-brow eye candy to entertain and move you than this film is a must see. Although it's hard to believe Jimmy Stewart as a German, (he makes no attempt at an accent) the story is utterly compelling. The movie is ell balanced with moments of suspense, romance, tension brutality, and levity. The most refreshing aspect is the lack of gratuitous sex and violence. I love watching a film that conveys violence, love and hatred without excessive or graphic images. It's set in a university town in the German Alps along the Austrian border. It chronicles the rise of the Nazi ethic as seen through the eyes of a Professor, his children and their friends. It gives raw insight into the indoctrination of Nazi youth. It is a great story of love, suffering and cruelty. You will not be disappointed.

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