This film is based on the true story of Pastor Martin Neimuller, who was sent to Dachau concentration camp for criticising the Nazi party. The small German village of Altdorf in the 1930's ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilfrid Lawson ...
Nova Pilbeam ...
Christine Hall
Seymour Hicks ...
General von Grotjahn
Marius Goring ...
Fritz Gerte
Brian Worth ...
Werner von Grotjahn
Percy Walsh ...
Herr Veit
Lina Barrie ...
Lina Veit
Eliot Makeham ...
Peter Cotes ...
Erwin Kohn
Edmund Willard ...
Hay Petrie ...
Nazi Pastor
Heinrich Degan
D.J. Williams
Manning Whiley ...
John Salew


This film is based on the true story of Pastor Martin Neimuller, who was sent to Dachau concentration camp for criticising the Nazi party. The small German village of Altdorf in the 1930's has to come to terms with Chancellor Hitler and the arrival of a platoon of Stormtroopers (preceded by a flock of sheep - subtle). The Stormtrooper go about teaching and enforcing 'The New Order' but Pastor Hall is a kind and gentle man who won't be cowed. Some villagers join the Nazi party avidly, some just go along with things, hoping for a quiet life but Pastor Hall takes his convictions to the pulpit. Written by Steve Crook <>

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Release Date:

13 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mártir  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was officially banned in Chicago by the city's police censor board, which deemed it "exceedingly controversial." See more »


Pastor Frederick Hall: Oh you're a stormtrooper now, are you?
Heinrich Degan: Well, it's a job, Herr Pastor. I've been out of work so long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"To the day when it may be shown in Germany - this film is dedicated." See more »


Featured in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

A bold political statement from a Britain entering WWII
23 October 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"Pastor Hall" is a bold, very early attempt to expose the Nazi regime. Halliwell's Film Guide gives the film a measly one star rating, which only goes to prove one should not believe everything one reads in print. It is, as Halliwell says, a "courageous film of its time" but in direct opposition to Halliwell, it is VERY interesting dramatically. Cinematically, the film works and considering budget constraints, it is an admirable production for 1939 (released 1940). It is also a great example of British film making for the period.

It's greatest flaw is arguably the upper class English accents. An interesting thing happens once one is drawn into the film, however: because the accents are a constant, it becomes a dramatic convention that one accepts. In other words, it does not detract from the dramatic impact of the social statement that the film makes. It also lends the film a timeless quality to the moral values it underlines - making the film surprisingly relevant for the 21st century viewer.

Historically, it a very important film. Made before the full horrors of the concentration camps were known, "Pastor Hall" is the first film to deal with the issue of the Nazi concentration camps. Fortunatley, I have a copy that I taped off air several years ago, and the image quality is better than a lot of digital transfers I've seen.

This film should be revived. I'd run "Pastor Hall" as a main feature, and run Alain Resnais' stark 1955 documentary masterpiece, "Nuit Et Brouillard" (Night and Fog) right afterwards. Both films should be required viewing for the film student.

  • If you found this 'mini-review' helpful, then please checkout my full

length IMDb reviews, written for post-viewing discussion with live audiences. This postscript added 21st June 2006.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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