USA Today - 05/04/1998
"...It's packed with the filmmaker's prototypically arresting shadows and nocturnal atmosphere..."
A.V. Club - 03/13/2013
"MINISTRY OF FEAR has an immediacy that suits its story of a man unmoored."
New York Times - 03/10/2013
"[T]he fateful geometry of Lang's visual style never falters..."
In Fritz Lang's haunting take on Graham Greene's novel, Ray Milland plays Stephen Neale--a bewildered man just released from an asylum. However, reality proves to be more surreal and perplexing than the asylum itself. Neale wanders through the streets, whimsically stopping off at a rural carnival, where he unwittingly gets involved in a complex and dangerous spy ring that is attempting to smuggle microfilm out of the country. He travels to London and hires a small-time detective to help him decipher the mysterious things that seem to constantly befall him. But things only get more confused from there, leading Stephen to Scotland Yard, where his fate entwines with a Nazi front organization, and a love affair.
Lang paints a rich and complex picture of the double crossings and deceptions of World War II Europe with MINISTRY OF FEAR. Full of seances, back rooms, secret bookstores, and deserted hotels, the film is an atmospheric vision of the War, in which Lang uses expressionist images (a blind man emerging from the fog, beams of light piercing a dark room as gunshots are fired) to articulate the fear and suspicion of Europe in the 1940s.
Essential Cinema |
Film Noir |
Theatrical Release |
World War II
Theatrical Release: October 16th, 1944.
MINISTRY OF FEAR was filmed in Hollywood, California in 1944.