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?


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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A small Bavarian village succumbs to peer pressure as Hitler ascends to power.
23 March 2004 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

The Mortal Storm is one of the few movies which shows the shift in attitudes which occurred among the German people after Hitler came to power. Although innumerable movies have been made about WWII, very few address the issue of peer pressure and its affect on the average, non-Jewish German. As a high school teacher, I have used this film in my classes for its unique perspective, and to demonstrate that peer pressure exists for adults as well as adolescents. Although the actual sets are unrealistic by today's high standards, they are understandable given world conditions at the time of filming, and can actually add to an appreciation of the horror of the war. Viewing this film led to intense and thought-provoking discussion among my students. Any viewer with an understanding of history will undoubtedly find this movie compelling in spite of its technological limitations.

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