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


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”

Mirage (1965) Gregory Peck, The Major Wants To See You!

Mirage (1965) film movie poster gregory peck diane baker mystery

David Stillwell (Gregory Peck) emerges from a darken doorway of a 27th floor New York apartment block into a bustling crowd of slightly crazy people. A blackout has occurred through-out the building, bizarrely making everyone a bit feisty. To his surprise he is offered the chance to attend an orgy, twice! “I’ve already passed on one orgy. I have to go.” Continue reading “Mirage (1965) Gregory Peck, The Major Wants To See You!”

Wavelength (1983) Extraterrestrial Alien Whale Children

Wavelength (1983) movie poster aliens sci-fi science fiction movie

Down on his luck musician Bobby Sinclair (Robert Carradine) drowns his sorrows at a LA bar and meets oddball girl Iris Longacre (Cherie Currie) who likes to narrate the scene in the style of a 40’s private-eye monologue.

Iris Longacre – “My problem is I can spot tormented souls at a distance of about 500 yards… I got, I guess you could say, I got a sense for somethings.”

Continue reading “Wavelength (1983) Extraterrestrial Alien Whale Children”

Ground Zero (1987) – Cold War In The Outback

Ground Zero (1987) Vickers Valiant bomberGround Zero (1987) Vickers Valiant bomber scientists nuclear radiation

One way to write a good screenplay is to use historical facts for your plot and then jazz it up with some fiction. Ground Zero really doesn’t need “jazzing up” as the original source material is horrific in it’s own right but with a tweak here and there this 80’s Australian film casts a thrilling story. It also scores big points for a collection of amazing imagery which give the outback set pieces a science fiction movie feel. Continue reading “Ground Zero (1987) – Cold War In The Outback”

Gumshoe (1971)


This sounded incredible from the description and I pushed it up my “to watch list” and stuck it on the box last night.

Nightclub bingo caller and standup comedian, if he can get some stage time, also dreams up the idea of being a private eye detective. Starring Albert Finney as Eddie Ginley, he puts an advert in the paper and receives his first job, a mysterious package from The Fat Man, filled with cash, photos, addresses and a gun!

Tagline – Ginley’s a gumshoe. Ginley’s got guts. Ginley’s got a gun.

Continue reading “Gumshoe (1971)”

Flashpoint (1984) Kris and Tweat Find Dusty Dirty Desert Dollars.


After spending way too much time driving along the black top for thousands of miles sat sweating in his truck stuck in a convey. Our Kris Kristofferson changed his silly name from Rubber Duck to Bobby Logan and became a Texas border guard. Continue reading “Flashpoint (1984) Kris and Tweat Find Dusty Dirty Desert Dollars.”

Executive Action (1973) JFK Assassination Conspiracy Plot?


Conspiracy has followed me over the years, with a lot rumours surfacing back in the 80’s that Michael Landon was in fact my Dad. What people didn’t realise was that Landon from Little House On The Prairie fame had once played the part of Tony Rivers in a film called I Was A Teenage Werewolf. Continue reading “Executive Action (1973) JFK Assassination Conspiracy Plot?”