The Mortal Storm (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mortal Storm (1940)

The Mortal Storm




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Mortal Storm Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This movie is among the first pre-WWII major feature films to deride the Nazi regime. The story centers on the effects the regime has upon a German family. The trouble begins when the liberal father's open contempt for the notion of racial supremacy lands him in a concentration camp.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Anderson Ellis, Claudine West, George Froeschel
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 20, 1994


James Stewart
as Martin Breitner
Robert Young
as Fritz Marberg
Frank Morgan
as Prof. Victor Roth
Robert Stack
as Otto von Rohn
Irene Rich
as Mrs. Roth
William Orr
as Erich von Rohn
Maria Ouspenskaya
as Mrs. Brietner
Thomas W. Ross
as Prof. Werner
Ward Bond
as Franz
Sue Moore
as Theresa
Harry Depp
as 2nd Colleague
Dick Rich
as Guard
Gus Glassmire
as Colleague
Lucien Prival
as Passport Official
Dick Elliott
as Passport Official
Julius Tannen
as 3rd Colleague
Henry Victor
as Gestapo Official
Bert Roach
as Fat Man in Cafe
Bob Stevenson
as Gestapo Guard
Max Davidson
as Old Man
John Stark
as Gestapo Official
Fritz Leiber
as Oppenheim
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Mortal Storm

Critic Reviews for The Mortal Storm

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | September 12, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This was the first Hollywood film to so openly and boldly cast aspersions on the Nazi oppression.

Full Review… | August 3, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Romance becomes the irritant and, effectively, Borzage positions his romanticism as a contribution to Hollywood's anti-fascist crusade.

Full Review… | November 14, 2003
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Mortal Storm


TV description of this movie is as follows: An austrian farmer and a professor's daughter flee nazi Germany on skis. While I suppose this description is fair, it fails to get to the heart of the film and what it's really going for. Made in 1940 (although srt in 1933), before America entered into WWII, The Mortal Storm tells the story of Prof. Viktor Roth, a professor at the local college who, as the film begins, is celebrating his 60th birthday. The community seems unified in it's outpouring of love for this respected teacher, as do his children and step-children. That night, as they are eating the birthday cakte, it's announced that Adolf Hitler has come into power. Some, like his two stepsons (Robert Stack, William Orr) and his daughter's fiance (Robert Young), are over-joyed. Others, like student and family friend Martin Breitner (James Stewart) and the professor himself are not. Those who are pro-Hitler are very excited to see their once great and proud Germany restored to it's former glory, while the others worry this new Germany might not have any room for dissenting opinions. Of course the dissenters have a great deal to worry about, like the old man who's beaten up in the streets by five nazi thugs for not singing along to their murderous, warmongering anthem. When the family patriarch is arrested for teaching that there is no physiological difference between aryan and non-aryan blood, the free thinking citizens of the town look to flee the country. Yes there are skis involved, but this film is more about the subjugation of the individual to mob hysteria. It says on IMDB (my favorite movie source) that Hitler so hated this film he banned all MGM movies from the country. That should be a more powerful endorsement of this film than anything I could write.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

they'll never make a nazi out of jimmy stewart!

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Political discourse with fringe loonies. Outstanding, considering it premiered even before the US went full-bore into WWII (Dec. 7, 1941, mind you, prompted the full efforts).

The Mortal Storm Quotes

– Submitted by Christopher B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Michael R (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Mortal Storm on our Movie forum!