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The Mortal Storm

The Mortal Storm (1940)


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Release Date: Jan 1, 1940 Wide



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 1,020

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Movie Info

The Nazi Party's rise to power has disastrous consequences for a German family in this drama. Victor Roth (Frank Morgan) is a college professor teaching in Germany in 1933 who leads a peaceful and contented life with his wife Emelie (Irene Rich), son Rudi (Gene Reynolds), daughter Freya (Margaret Sullavan), and stepsons Otto (Robert Stack) and Erich (William T. Orr). However, Adolph Hitler's emergence as Germany's ruler has an unexpected impact on their lives. Fritz (Robert Young) and Martin



Claudine West, Anderson Ellis, George Froeschel

Jul 20, 1994

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All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (0)

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

August 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

November 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
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.
May 30, 2010
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

they'll never make a nazi out of jimmy stewart!
May 20, 2008
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

    1. Lehman: [apprehensively] Heil H....
    2. Professor Victor Roth: Good Afternoon, Lehman.
    3. Lehman: Good afternoon. Th, there's a new order, I should say 'Heil Hiter', but I won't, not to you.
    4. Professor Victor Roth: Thank you Lehman.
    5. Lehman: That is, unless some of the other gentlemen are present, or the students.
    6. Professor Victor Roth: Yes, I shall understand.
    7. Colleague: [opening the door and enters] Heil Hitler.
    8. Lehman: heil, Hitler. [his arm only half raised as his eyes meet Prof. Roth's]
    – Submitted by Christopher B (19 months ago)
    1. Professor Victor Roth: I've never prized safety, either for myself or my children. I've prized courage.
    – Submitted by Michael R (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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