A story of Hitler's rise to power as seen through the microcosm of one German family. What may seem small and personal is instead towering, a bold revelation of the brutality of the Nazi regime leading to a ban of all MGM movies in Germany.
"I've never prized safety, either for myself or my children. I've prized courage."
- oppressed German Professor Roth (FRANK MORGAN)
USA Today - 07/29/1994
"...A still-powerful portrayal of '30s Germany, filmed when most in Hollywood wouldn't yet touch the subject..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
The Mortal Storm is the story of Hitler's rise to power as seen through the microcosm of one German family. What may seem small and personal is instead towering, a bold revelation of the brutality of the Nazi regime that so infuriated propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels that he banned all MGM movies in Germany.
In their fourth and final teaming, Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart play sweethearts, evoking the tender, romantic empathy that always marked their work together. They lead a sterling cast in director Frank Borzage's sweeping tale of the political and human chaos that rips a family apart, sets child against parent and lover against lover, and leads to savagery, to sacrifice and to heroism.
A cautionary tale involving two young lovers living in Germany during Hitler's rise to power who try to escape the growing Nazi threat. Based on Phyllis Bottome's 1937 novel.
This bold -- and, in 1940, contemporary -- indictment of Nazi oppression examines the evil effects of Hitler's rise to power. A Jewish scholar at a German university dismisses theories about Aryan blood being "superior" from that of other ethnic groups. He is subsequently punished by being shipped to a concentration camp. Thereafter, his family's once-warm home becomes a cold cave of fear. Though the professor's stepsons welcome the new regime and don swastika-spangled uniforms, his daughter, Freya, and her fiance plan to flee the country. Freya also tries to smuggle a manuscript, written by her father, that chronicles the terror. But their only path to freedom is a snow-covered trail in the Austrian Alps, one that just might be stationed with Nazi marksmen.
World War II
Nazi officials allegedly banned all MGM releases because of this film's overt anti-Nazi politics. Some have said that Victor Saville had his name removed from the credits of "The Mortal Storm," because the British producer did not want to be credited with motivating America to enter the Second World War. Author Al Rosen filed a lawsuit against the distributors of this film because, he claimed, the plot of his novel, "Mad Dog of Europe," had been lifted and placed in the narrative of "The Mortal Storm."
Several scenes were filmed in the mountains of Utah and Idaho to convey the look of the Austrian Alps.
A few scenes of this film were included in the 1992 thriller "Shining Through," which starred Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith and was directed by David Seltzer.
Additional cast: Granville Bates (Professor Berg); Thomas Ross (Professor Werner); Sue Moore (Theresa); Harry Depp (Second colleague); and Gus Glassmire (Fourth colleague).
Additional credit: Edward Kane (score composer).
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