Ministry of Fear (Paramount 1944, Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds)

Ministry of Fear

Fritz Lang noir-spy thriller Ministry of Fear follows a man (Ray Milland) recently released from a British insane asylum who accidentally wins a cake with a secret message at a carnival run by a Nazi espionage organization. Milland excels as the innocent man in the wrong place dealing with a world crazier than the asylum he just left.

Lang’s direction creates constant suspense, the sets and cinematography are suitably atmospheric, the plot quirky and engaging, and the performances of high caliber. Based on a Graham Greene novel of the same name.

Author Greene also worked as a film critic and reviewed many of Lang’s films. Greene called Lang’s thriller Fury (1936) “infinitely more expert” than an Alfred Hitchcock suspense film.

Ministry of Fear

Cast: Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke, Dan Duryea, Percy Waram, Alan Napier, Erskine Sanford,

Director: Fritz Lang
Producer: Seton I. Miller
Original Story: Graham Greene
Director of Photography: Henry Sharp
Editor: Archie Marshek
Composers: Miklos Rozsa, Victor Young
Screenwriter: Seton I. Miller

USA / Paramount / 85 minutes / 1944

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