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

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writers:

Claudine West (screen play), Hans Rameau (screen play) (as Andersen Ellis) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Sullavan ... Freya Roth
James Stewart ... Martin Breitner
Robert Young ... Fritz Marberg
Frank Morgan ... Professor Viktor Roth
Robert Stack ... Otto Von Rohn
Bonita Granville ... Elsa
Irene Rich ... Mrs. Emilia Roth
William T. Orr ... Erich Von Rohn
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Mrs. Hilda Breitner
Gene Reynolds ... Rudi Roth
Russell Hicks ... Rector
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Lehman
Esther Dale ... Marta
Dan Dailey ... Holl (as Dan Dailey Jr.)
Granville Bates ... Professor Berg
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Storyline

Interesting to note that the film was made in 1940, one 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

Taglines:

Banned By 6 Nations Now -Screen Sensation (Print Ad-Times-News, ((Twin Falls, Idaho)) 21 May 1942) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 the studio made this one. See more »

Goofs

The famous book burning that went over Germany in 1933 did not happen until May 1933, while the movie is set in Winter during January, February. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Gaudeamus Igitur
a traditional student drinking song dating from the 13th century. The melody appears in the score when Professor Roth enters the school and the traditional Latin words are sung by his class during his birthday celebration.
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User Reviews

 
Good Anti-Nazi film about Pre-war Germany
16 January 1999 | by Maestro-15See all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mortal Storm See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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