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

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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.

production details
USA | Paramount | 86 minutes | 1944

Director: Fritz Lang
Script: Graham Greene, Seton I. Miller,

cast
Byron Foulger as Mr. Newby
Carl Esmond as Willi Hilfe
Hillary Brooke as Mrs. Bellane #2, spiritualist
Erskine Sanford as George Rennit, private investigator
Connie Leon as lady Purchaser of Cake
Ray Milland as Stephen Neale
Marjorie Reynolds as Carla Hilfe
Percy Waram as Inspector Prentice
Dan Duryea as Cost aka Travers the tailor
Alan Napier as Dr. Forrester
Harry Allen as Tailor’s Delivery Man
Frank Baker as Scotland Yard Man
Vangie Beilby as Old Lady at Charity Bazaar
Evelyn Beresford as Fat Lady at Charity Bazaar
Aminta Dyne as Mrs. Bellane #1 – fortune teller
Colin Kenny as Scotland Yard Man
Ottola Nesmith as Woman at Admission Gate

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