The Mortal Storm

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"The Most Exciting Picture!"
  • Passed
  • 1940
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.7  (5,860)

The Mortal Storm is a 1940 American drama film directed by Frank Borzage, starring Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, and Robert Young. The movie depicts the life of a German family living in a small town before World War II. The film is set in the early days of the Nazi regime, and it depicts how the family members are affected by the changes in their country's politics.

The lead actress, Margaret Sullavan, plays Freya Roth, the daughter of a respected professor, Viktor Roth (Frank Morgan), who is a well-known anti-Nazi academic. James Stewart plays Martin Breitner, a friend of the family and an anti-Nazi activist who is in love with Freya. Robert Young plays Fritz Marberg, another friend of the family who initially supports the Nazis but becomes disillusioned with them when he sees their true colors.

The movie opens with a celebration of Professor Roth's birthday, where the family is gathered together, along with their friends Martin and Fritz. However, the happy atmosphere is quickly shattered when the family receives news that Hitler has been appointed as Chancellor of Germany. This news deeply concerns Professor Roth, who begins to realize the danger of Nazi ideology.

As the movie progresses, the characters' lives are increasingly impacted by the Nazi ideology. Freya's boyfriend, Fritz, falls in line with the Nazis, while her friend Martin becomes more militant and outspoken against them. Freya and her family find themselves ostracized from their community because of their anti-Nazi stance. Their home is vandalized, and they are threatened with violence.

The situation becomes more dangerous for the family as the movie continues. Freya's father is arrested and thrown into a concentration camp, and Freya and her brother Erich (William T. Orr) are forced to flee from the Nazis. The family also suffers the loss of a loved one when their elderly grandmother is euthanized under the Nazis' eugenics program.

The Mortal Storm is a powerful and poignant movie that depicts the effects of Nazi ideology on a small German family. The film shows how the Nazi party's ideology dominated every area of German society, and how it affected the lives of ordinary people. The acting in the movie is exceptional, especially Margaret Sullavan's portrayal of Freya, who is torn between her love for Fritz and her loyalty to her family and her beliefs.

The Mortal Storm was released in 1940, just a year before the United States entered World War II. It was one of the first movies to openly portray the horrors of the Nazi regime, and its release was controversial at the time. Despite this controversy, the movie received critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards.

In conclusion, The Mortal Storm is a powerful and moving movie that depicts the effects of Nazi ideology on a small German family before the start of World War II. The movie's themes of love, loyalty, and morality are timeless, and the film's messages are still relevant today. The movie's powerful performances, exceptional script, and poignant direction make The Mortal Storm a must-see classic that should not be missed.

The Mortal Storm
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (5,860)