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The Mortal Storm (1940)

Passed  |   |  Drama  |  14 June 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,018 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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The quote at the end of the movie is from 'The Gate of the Year' by Minnie Louise Haskins. 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 ...
See more »


Referenced in Funny About Love (1990) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One Of The 10 Best Films Made In The 20th Century
27 December 2000 | by (Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA) – See all my reviews

I have been an avid film buff for many years, and I thought I had seen all of the best, until I first saw "The Mortal Storm" in 1989 on late night television. This film which is from the novel by Phyllis Bottome, is without question one of the most well constructed films I have ever seen. This film was produced and released in 1940, before World War II was declared, and was a very courageous undertaking, considering the subject matter. But then Metro Goldwyn Mayer was noted for doing almost the impossible. The character study of these individuals, whose lives are totally disrupted is remarkable. This film should be shown to every student who is learning the true facts about world history. Personally I rate this film with an A+.

47 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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