Poster for Ministry of Fear

Ministry of Fear

1944, Mystery & thriller, 1h 25m

27 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Fresh from a two-year stint in a mental institution for the alleged "mercy killing" of his ailing wife, Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) visits a carnival where he wins a cake by guessing its weight. The cake, however, contains a microfilm sought after by Nazi spies, and Stephen soon finds himself a target. On the run and unsure of whom to trust, he enlists the help of a private detective (Erskine Sanford), a beautiful woman (Marjorie Reynolds) and an inspector from Scotland Yard (Percy Waram).

Cast & Crew

Ray Milland
Stephen Neale
Carl Esmond
Willi Hilfe, Mr. Macklin
Hillary Brooke
Mrs. Bellane #2
Percy Waram
Inspector Prentice
Dan Duryea
Cost, Travers
Alan Napier
Dr. Forrester
Erskine Sanford
Mr. George Rennit
Thomas Louden
Mr. Newland, antiquarian bookseller
Aminta Dyne
Mrs. Bellane #1, fortune teller
Mary Field
Martha Penteel, artist
Byron Foulger
Newby, rushing to leave seance
Lester Matthews
Dr. Norton at asylum
Miklós Rózsa
Original Music
Victor Young
Original Music
Henry Sharp
Cinematographer
Archie Marshek
Film Editing
Hans Dreier
Art Director
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Bertram C. Granger
Set Decoration
Edith Head
Costume Design
Wally Westmore
Makeup Artist
George Templeton
Assistant Director
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Ministry of Fear

Audience Reviews for Ministry of Fear

  • Jul 23, 2013
    I don't really care that the story is ridiculous, Lang directed the film beautifully (Is there any other director who used contrasting shadow and light so well?) and I like that its a WWII propaganda film, that doesn't really feel like a propaganda film . . . probably because the "heroes" and "villains" are less clearly defined than most stuff from that era.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 25, 2007
    Perhaps it was the mix of the femme-fatale, the American atmosphere Lang adopted mainly in Fury (1936) and the Hitchcock style the one that prevents me from giving this a higher rating, but -generally speaking- it is a rather solid and enjoyable dark thriller. 76/100
    Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2007
    Ministry of Fear is easily one of Fritz Lang's high points of the 1940s. He does a great job capturing WWII London with a dreadful mood. The chase scene in the beginning as well as the seance scene is worth it alone. The cast is good, but the set design is superb and if my senses aren't failing me I'd say that Ministry of Fear is a precursor to North By Northwest. Overall, the setup is good, the middle dwindles a bit and the last few minutes are kind of weak (with a slightly embarrassing ending) but if you can get your hands on a copy of this movie it's worth the time.
    Michael G Super Reviewer

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