4
Add review

The Mortal Storm

One of Hollywood's invariably slightly embarrassing attempts to get to grips with the Nazi peril. Set in an all-American small town in Germany on the eve of Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of the Third Reich, with the narrator pontificating about 'the mortal storm in which man finds himself today', it constantly teeters on the brink of absurd naiveté, kept more or less on balance by skill, sincerity and good intentions. The film is almost retrieved by the touching Sullavan/Stewart love affair, shaping up to be one of those incandescent romantic visions transcending reality that is the mark of a Borzage film. The fact that it doesn't quite work that way is probably because almost the entire film was directed, uncredited, by Victor Saville.

Release details

Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Frank Borzage
Screenwriter: Claudine West, Andersen Ellis, George Froeschel
Cast: Margaret Sullavan
James Stewart
Robert Young
Frank Morgan
Irene Rich
Robert Stack
Bonita Granville
Maria Ouspenskaya
Dan Dailey
Ward Bond

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
1 person listening
Chris W

I just saw the film for the first time on TCM. I agree with Robin f. While the film might do some stark contrasting of opposing values it does so with great cinematography and high tension. As was said, an effective film, treating universal themes dynamically. I was strangely surprised by the intensity of my viewing experience.

Chris W

I just saw the film for the first time on TCM. I agree with Robin f. While the film might do some stark contrasting of opposing values it does so with great cinematography and high tension. As was said, an effective film, treating universal themes dynamically. I was strangely surprised by the intensity of my viewing experience.

Robin f

This film is neither embarassing nor naive. It's a chilling depiction of a small town's recruitment into Nazism. The events are a fairly accurate representation of what went down in prewar Germany and a poignant reminder of everything that is wrong with facsism. Margaret Sullivan delivers a touching, and pitch-perfect preformance. The narrative is straightforward and remarkably lacking in sentimentality for a 1940's melodrama. Overall, an effective film. I loved it.

Robin f

This film is neither embarassing nor naive. It's a chilling depiction of a small town's recruitment into Nazism. The events are a fairly accurate representation of what went down in prewar Germany and a poignant reminder of everything that is wrong with facsism. Margaret Sullivan delivers a touching, and pitch-perfect preformance. The narrative is straightforward and remarkably lacking in sentimentality for a 1940's melodrama. Overall, an effective film. I loved it.