7.9/10
3,782
69 user 26 critic

The Mortal Storm (1940)

Passed | | Drama | 14 June 1940 (USA)
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 Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.

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(screen play), (screen play) (as Andersen Ellis) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Freya Roth
... Martin Breitner
... Fritz Marberg
... Professor Viktor Roth
... Otto Von Rohn
... Elsa
... Mrs. Emilia Roth
... Erich Von Rohn
... Mrs. Hilda Breitner
... Rudi Roth
... Rector
William Edmunds ... Lehman
... Marta
... Holl (as Dan Dailey Jr.)
... 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:

The Most Exciting Picture!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La tempête qui tue  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reports claimed that uncredited co-producer Victor Saville actually directed large portions of the film. See more »

Goofs

Although the story takes place in 1933, Margaret Sullavan's hairstyle and clothing are strictly in the 1940 mode. 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

Featured in Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Close Up the Ranks
(1864) (uncredited)
Written by S.F. Cameron
Sung by bar patrons
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nothing short of a masterpiece !
4 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

This film is nothing short of a masterpiece ! For its time. Although the world situation has changed completely today, and the film may have little or no relevance to the current world situation, at the time in 1940, this was a very very powerful work indeed ! I had always been curious about this film, having read the book when I was young ( in the 1960's ) and was shocked by it ! It's not a war film and it's not the war aspect that frightened me. No, its the way a happily united family can become so disunited because of politics which sent shivers up my spine !! Suddenly, a peaceful and harmonious situation changes dramatically, and you are obliged to take sides, even fighting against your own blood. It really is awesome. Acting is first-rate and image, though in black and white is more than passable for the period ! I can well imagine the film to have been a very powerful piece of anti-Nazi propaganda ! I'm sorry to have to complain about this again but here we have yet another film which should have been out on DVD for several years but ........ there's no sign of it !

Quite honestly, I found this quite unnerving to watch and felt ill at ease observing the gradual breakdown within the family. It certainly isn't a film for the faint hearted and I won't go any further than mention briefly that AWFUL final scene ........!!


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