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.
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W.S. Van Dyke
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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
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler banned this film from release in Germany because of its strong anti-Nazi sentiments. In addition, all MGM films from that point until the end of the war were also banned in Germany because of the fact that the studio made this one. 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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