Ministry of Fear (1944) Nazis, Bombs & Spies, Fortune Tellers & Cake!

Ministry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland Fritz Lang movie poster mystery noir drama

Having sat in his room staring at the swinging pendulum of his ticking clock for two years straight, Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) has had time contemplating life and reflecting what the future will hold for him. After being on his own for those years, Stephen fancies the hustle and bustle of London, to be surrounded by people again. He’s probably picked a bad time to visit London, the city is being pounded by the Germans during The Blitz but he’s determined. With a spring in his step he takes off to the local train station. As he leaves his building of residence, the camera pans to show the engraved sign on the wall, Lembridge Asylum!

Ministry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland Fritz Lang Lembridge AsylumMinistry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland Fritz Lang Lembridge Asylum wall sign

Tagline – Menace… Behind every shadow! Suspense… In Every Move!

With time to wait for the train and the sound of happy voices, he excitedly investigates a church fete run by volunteers of a charity, The Mothers of Free Nations. With all the ladies wanting his attention and money donations, Stephen is whisked from one stall to another. Before he knows it, he is standing in front of his destiny, the one thing that will change this day into a living nightmare of madness, Nazi spy rings, espionage, fortune tellers, hit-men, bombs, murder, guns, Batman’s servant! and a whole bunch of untrustworthy, dodgy looking people.

Ministry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland fortune teller tentMinistry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland fete fare guess the cake weight noir

What on Earth could be that one thing that starts this horrible chain of events?…….. A cake!! A blooming cake I Tell you!

Poor Stephen Neale has an eventful series of misadventures ahead of him and every turn he takes, it brings another adventure, as he crosses paths with a series of mysterious characters. From the likes of brother and sister duo Carla Hilfe (Marjorie Reynolds) and Willi Hilfe (Carl Esmond), private detective George Rennit (Erskine Sanford), a shadowy figure (Percy Waram), a posh looking stern chap called Mr Cost (Dan Duryea), a top psychiatrist called Dr Forrester (Alan Napier) and the crazy beautiful and mysterious spirit medium Mrs Bellane (Hillary Brooke).

Ministry of Fear (1944) Carla Hilfe (Marjorie Reynolds) and Willi Hilfe (Carl Esmond)Ministry of Fear (1944) spirit medium Mrs Bellane (Hillary Brooke) at home

There a hell of a lot going on in this mystery drama, racing along at blistering speed. With everyone looking mighty suspicious and danger lurking around every corner, can our hero work out WTF is going on? Or could it all be in his mind, remember he has only recently been released from a mental asylum? Whatever it maybe, it sure is entertaining being onboard this crazy train journey through the Ministry Of Fear.

Ministry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland book shop naziMinistry of Fear (1944)a shadowy figure (Percy Waram)

Things I’ve learnt.

  • Directed by Fritz Lang whom I’m slowly working my way through his films. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt and The Big Heat both recent to me and amazing. I have Hangmen Also Die and M on the starter blocks ready to race on to my screens. Plus I saw it stoned as a youth but I really need to see Metropolis again. Sure to appreciate it on a whole new level. Please feel free to recommend others.
  • The images and cinematography are just divine, especially early shots of Ray Milland and the Medium Hillary Brooke.

Ministry of Fear (1944) spirit medium Mrs Bellane (Hillary Brooke)

  • Made me chuckle to myself as Ray Milland sits with the fortune teller at the beginning and I thought, hey, in the future you will be switching roles and become the all seeing eye in X The Man With X-Ray Eyes.
  • Based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene. A man who penned many classics which were adapted into film. From Brighton Rock, Our Man In Havana, The Quiet American and also wrote the story for director Carol Reed noir classic, The Third Man. With knowing Soviet spy Kim Philby and connections with M16, traveling the world, to meeting Fidel Castro, Graham Greene sounds like he saw a lot of life. Would like to see a documentary on him if there is one!

Ministry of Fear (1944) Ray Milland Fritz Lang movie opening title screen shot

I really enjoyed this fun twisting mystery noir drama. I know I’m late to the party but how much fun I’m having catching up with all these fantastic movies. If you’ve seen it or go off and see it, feel free to let me know what you thought if you wish.

Where will movieland take me next? Who knows!  Thanks for popping by. Mikey The Wolf


Pathfinder (1987) Shivering Snowy Scandinavian Survival Fable

Pathfinder (1987) Aigin (Mikkel Gaup) cover picture dvd TV

In this Norwegian, freeze your goolies off, action adventure film from director and writer Nils Gaup, we get to witness a survival tale set in the bleak frozen lands and fjords of Northern Norway, some time around 1000 AD. Pathfinder is a tale about the Sami people, a traditional reindeer herding community living in the harsh regions of the north. A peaceful people, keeping in small family groups, utilising the resources of furs, hunting and coastal fishing. With the help of their Pathfinder, a spiritual shaman, they plan their days to a beat of a small drum and mystical symbols. Continue reading “Pathfinder (1987) Shivering Snowy Scandinavian Survival Fable”

The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973) Ivan Dixon, Sam Greenlee & Herbie Hancock

The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973) director Ivan Dixon posterThe Spook Who Sat by the Door is a novel by writer, poet Sam Greenlee which was published in 1969 causing quite the stir with it’s controversial political message. A satire on revolutionary reaction to civil rights in America during the sixties. A race motivated story with a direct response against the white oppression lived by African Americans in the United States. To shake things up, giving power to the people through the means of freedom fighters to push their important message across.

Continue reading “The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973) Ivan Dixon, Sam Greenlee & Herbie Hancock”

Sitting Target (1972) No Cage Can Hold Oliver Reed & His Lust For Revenge!

Sitting Target (1972) oliver reed film movie jail break hitman poster

Banged up brute Harry Lomart (Oliver Reed) is in for a long stretch this time, possibly 15 years. Well he has murdered someone but at least his wife will wait for him till he gets out. He keeps fit by working out hard in his prison cell, like a caged gorilla doing pull ups from the pipework on the ceiling. Keep active, keep strong and the years will flyby, then he can be back in the arms of his lady. Yeah he can deal with the shakedowns and crappy food, he’s as strong as an ox. Continue reading “Sitting Target (1972) No Cage Can Hold Oliver Reed & His Lust For Revenge!”

When Eight Bells Toll (1971) Wondered If Anthony Hopkins Could Play James Bond?

When Eight Bells Toll (1971) - movie poster one sheet action packed bond style

Randomly watched another Alistair Maclean novel getting the movie business after watching The Satan Bug the day before. Not realising until doing this post they were penned by the same author. When Eight Bells Toll had high hopes, with the studio and producers excitedly thinking they had a new secret agent franchises on their hands. The chance of a new James Bond style character to entertain those hungry for more stories of espionage and British secret agents taking on the megalomaniacs. Unfortunately it didn’t go to plan, though we do get one very well written , exciting thriller to watch and I have to say it’s most excellent fun. Continue reading “When Eight Bells Toll (1971) Wondered If Anthony Hopkins Could Play James Bond?”

The Satan Bug (1965) Viruses Of Mass Destruction

The Satan Bug (1965) movie poster excellent artwork filmHead of security Agent Reagan (John Anderson) knows something ain’t just right, he can feel it in his bones. He’s suspicious by nature, the perfect man for the job. Giving everyone who enters the compound the lazy eye, like a wise old Eaglehawk searching down his prey. He can almost sense there’s been a security breach, then again it could be he’s imagining things….. Continue reading “The Satan Bug (1965) Viruses Of Mass Destruction”

The Invaders – Episode “Mind Melt” Starring Special Guest Wolfman, Small Screen Blogathon

The Invaders Roy Thinnes as Architect David Vincent

I sat anxiously awaiting the phone call from my good friend David Vincent,….. it never came! Pacing the room, back and forth, I kept looking at the phone on the table, willing it to ring. What could have happened to him? Said he would call around noon to organise a rendezvous point. To meet for lunch, where he would inform me of the incoming invasion, an invasion from beings from another planet……. The Invaders!

Intro – Alien beings from another planet, their destination… The Earth! Their purpose? To make it their world!

Continue reading “The Invaders – Episode “Mind Melt” Starring Special Guest Wolfman, Small Screen Blogathon”

99 River Street (1953) John Unleashes The Payne With Power Punches

99 River Street (1953) John Payne movie film noir poster

Depressed and broken ex boxer Ernie Driscoll (John Payne) can’t help reminiscing back to his heyday as a prize fighter and unfortunately to that fateful day when he took a beating on the ropes. The day he damaged his eye, bringing with it the end of his boxing career. He sits there with great sadness, in his apartment, watching a rerun of the fight. Things aren’t helped for our poor Ernie as his wife Pauline (Peggie Castle) loves nothing more that belittling him, reminding him what a loser he is and how he has ruined their future.

Tagline – Rips into you like a double-crossing Dame!

Continue reading “99 River Street (1953) John Unleashes The Payne With Power Punches”

Kansas City Confidential (1952) Exploding! Like A Gun In Your Face!

Kansas City Confidential (1952) movie poster film cover

I discovered this tense, well crafted thriller after being impressed by the performance of Neville Brand in director Don Siegel’s brilliant titled and extremely taut prison drama Riot In Cell Block 11. He played the lead character, James Dunn who rebels against the prison system, demanding better living conditions for the inmates. Flicking through his filmography I noted the intriguing Kansas City Confidential directed by Phil Karlson. Neville might not be the lead in this film but he does get to play one of three great quirky bad guys.

Tagline – The Picture That Hits With BULLET FORCE And BLACKJACK FURY!

Continue reading “Kansas City Confidential (1952) Exploding! Like A Gun In Your Face!”

Wolfman’s 70’s Chase Themes Soundtrack Music Compilation

Werewolf by Night comic book marvel transformationHere’s a 50 minute mix of mine featuring a barrage of 70’s chase themes from funky as hell soundtracks. Music and trailers from a selection of blaxploitation and seventies action films that hit with a Truck Turner sized funk fist, full force, straight in the kisser. Continue reading “Wolfman’s 70’s Chase Themes Soundtrack Music Compilation”