the mortal storm

April 19, 2012

The Mortal Storm is a rarely seen film, yet it addresses one of the most important events in history, WWII.  It’s the most direct anti-Nazi statement Hollywood made before the war.  What did you think of the movie or the presentation the following night?



  1. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the movie, because I have never really seen a movie that was made earlier than 1950. Well, I have, but I haven’t really like them. I actually really liked this movie, though. I thought Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan played their parts perfectly. I thought the storyline hit the nail on the head of what was happening over seas at that time. They also did a great job at presenting conflict between brothers and families, which happened quite often during this time. All of the main characters had a depth to them that you believed was real. I was actually scared for some of the characters at some points, knowing the reprocussions that they were to face in the later 40s when Hitler’s regime really came into power.
    I was amazed that this movie came out in 1940. I know that Dr. Slater and Dr. Williamson mentioned that it was extremely controversial for its time, but I didn’t really understand what they were saying until I saw the film. Its ideas and themes are so current for the time period, I couldn’t believe that they were able to produce it in America at that time. I also found it amazing that just six days after the film premiered, America closed its borders to anyone traveling from Germany. I think the movie is great to view, even today, to get a sense of how Germany developed in the early 30s when Hitler was first getting into power. I wouldn’t mind seeing this film again.

  2. At first, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy the film. I felt that the dialog was a bit stilted early on, and I thought the film was going to suffer for it. However, as the story progressed, I found myself more and more engrossed with the developing conflicts that developed around the family, both internal and external. You can tell that one of the brothers was not totally convicted of his job when he was told to take his own sister and the main character down. I believe it was he that also said the words “And thank God for that” [paraphrased] when told that there would be forces opposing Hitler. The fact that the two brothers, which at first both seemed completely convinced of their duty, even differed at the end stuck with me. I also thought that the scene in which Jimmy Steward and Margaret Sullivan’s characters get ‘married’ to be noteworthy, as it showed sort of a ‘return to tradition/form’ in a depraved world. The mother character also seemed very strong and protective throughout the film, which I think is a rarity for the time.

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