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Ministry of Fear (1944)

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Release Date: Oct 16, 1944 Wide

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 876

My Rating

Movie Info

An innocent man is drawn into a web of espionage when he unwittingly comes into possession of a crucial piece of microfilm in this shadowy, ominous film noir. Fritz Lang's adaptation of Graham Greene's novel is filled with unusual touches, beginning with the fact that protagonist Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) has just been released from a mental asylum. To celebrate his return to the real world, he visits a local carnival, only to accidentally receive a "prize" meant for a Nazi agent. When he

Unrated,

Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

Seton I. Miller

Apr 14, 1998

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (0) | DVD (2)

Adept at using cinema for art and entertainment since his early career, Lang treats this Graham Greene "entertainment" in modest, yet effective fashion.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film International
Film International

This is not Lang's best film of the era, or even his most interesting portrait of paranoia and malevolent forces, but it is a lively thriller with unexpected turns.

March 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

The film as a whole doesn't really stick with you, but isolated moments and images do

March 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

It's not top-shelf Fritz Lang, nor is it top-level Graham Greene, but as an exercise in World War II intrigue with a smidgen of film noir thrown in, Ministry of Fear gets the job done.

March 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

It's certainly fitting that after filling his German years with ballsy, predictive masterpieces about Nazi rule-by-fear, Fritz Lang would finally make a film that directly involves Nazis.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

Visually brilliant masterpiece.

July 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Really good Fritz Lang noir that's never gotten its due

July 30, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Has an exciting plot and is properly atmospheric despite its cheap studio sets.

October 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Ministry of Fear

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.
December 13, 2007
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

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.
July 23, 2013
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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  • Le Ministère de la peur (FR)
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