I’m going to be taking a look at couple of classic films starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. One is dark and the other light. So it’s time for The Mortal Storm blu-ray review first and then I’ll publish the lighter comedy The Shop Around the Corner film review next.
The Mortal Storm (1940) is a poignant reminder of the actions of former friends as the Nazi party’s power takes hold in Germany.
Unfortunately Warner Bros has so far decided not to release the film on blu-ray in the UK. That said the US release is indeed region free.
- The Mortal Storm (1940)
- Blu-ray – USA Import
- Genre: Drama
- Directed by Frank Borzage
- UK Rating N/A
- Discs: 1
- Released By Warner Bros / Warner Archive
- Blu-ray Released: 3 November 2020
The Mortal Storm tells the story of a group of friends in a German town as the Nazi party rises to power. Suddenly friends turn on each other. Prof. Viktor Roth (Frank Morgan) finds his classes are no longer attended due the attitude of the Nazi party towards scientific fact.
Meanwhile Freya Roth (Margaret Sullavan) is suddenly forced to break off her engagement to Fritz Marberg (Robert Young) as she finds herself at odds with his political views. Her friend Martin Breitner (James Stewart) decides to take a stand against the appalling behaviour of his former friends towards those that do not fit in with the new order.
This change brings Freya and Martin together but will their happiness be allowed in such a racist and ruthlessness regime.
Style / Direction
The Mortal Storm (1940) is a drama film set in the 1930’s directed Frank Borzage. Meanwhile William H. Daniels was the one responsible for the cinematography.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is comes from Bronislau Kaper, Eugene Zador and Edward Kane.
Acting / Characters
James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan team up again in this disturbing drama set in the 1930’s as the Nazi party continues to clamp down on free speech.
The have good chemistry and this really makes the story even more touching.
- Margaret Sullavan as Freya Roth
- James Stewart as Martin Breitner
- Robert Young as Fritz Marberg
- Frank Morgan as Prof. Viktor Roth
- Robert Stack as Otto von Rohn
- Bonita Granville as Elsa
- Irene Rich as Amelie Roth
- William T. Orr as Erich von Rohn
- Maria Ouspenskaya as Hilda Breitner
- Gene Reynolds as Rudi Roth
- Ward Bond as Franz
- Russell Hicks as Rector of University
- William Edmunds as Lehman
- Esther Dale as Marta
- Dan Dailey as Holl
- Granville Bates as Prof. Berg
Conclusion: The Mortal Storm (1940) Film Review
What makes this film even more poignant is the fact the Second World War had only just started when this movie was made. It does an excellent job of highlighting how a small group of friends and family suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Not only that but it shows how this difference led to the death of so many.
This is one film you really should watch as it examines what happens to a small group of friends can also occur across a country given the right set of circumstances. This is indeed what happened in Germany in the 1930’s.
The film’s story focuses on the romance of Freya Roth (Margaret Sullavan) and Martin Breitner (James Stewart) as they try to evade the evil regime.
If you’ve enjoyed my The Mortal Storm blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
- Crime and Punishment (1935)
- The Goose Steps Out (1942)
- Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
- Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Conclusion: The Mortal Storm Blu-ray Review
Warner Bros are yet to give this classic movie a UK blu-ray release. However the picture quality on their American release is very good.
On the extras side there’s an anti-war MGM cartoon, Peace On Earth, I highly recommend giving a look.
Add in a fabulous set of extras and you have a perfect blu-ray release. Warner Bros seem to have an exclusive deal with HMV so this film may eventually turn up in the UK.
- MGM Cartoon: Peace On Earth
- Short: Meet The Fleet
- Theatrical Trailer
On to my movie rating for The Mortal Storm (1940)
- Movie Rating: EXCELLENT
- Blu-ray Picture: PERFECT
- Extras: VERY GOOD
Amazon UK Links
The Mortal Storm (1940) has not had an offical UK blu-ray release. However it can be picked up region free via Amazon. Always check the version you are purchasing will play on UK players.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may NOT be representative of the blu-ray version
That concludes The Mortal Storm blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more classic James Stewart films soon. What’s next? Check back soon…
Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.
Summary: The Mortal Storm (1940) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: The Mortal Storm (1940)
Duration: 100 mins
Director(s): Frank Borzage
Actor(s): Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Robert Young, Frank Morgan, Robert Stack, Bonita Granville, Irene Rich, William T. Orr
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Powerful and poignant reminder of how easily friends can turn on one another due to political ideology
Powerful & Disturbing Story James Stewart & Margaret Sullavan
No Official UK Bluray Release