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


The Thin Red Line (1964) The Sane and Mad VS First Sgt Jack Warden

The Thin Red Line (1964) poster movie film dvd cover soldier cross

This is the first adaption of the 1962 novel The Thin Red Line by James Jones. The story follows a band of American soldiers as they are thrown into tough terrain fighting during the Battle of Guadalcanal during the Second World War in the Pacific. Continue reading “The Thin Red Line (1964) The Sane and Mad VS First Sgt Jack Warden”

Castle Keep (1969) Surreal WW2 Fairy Tale With Burt Lancaster & A Bunch Of Sweet Ladies.

Castle Keep (1969) Burt Lancaster poster movie film peter falk

After watching director Sydney Pollack awesome film The Yakuza I searched for projects of his I may of missed and Castle Keep from 1969 is what I found. A World War Two movie with a big twist, that twist is, (no spoilers) it’s completely batty and totally off it’s shopping trolley. It also stars the legend Burt Lancaster playing the warmongering one eyed Major Abraham Falconer. Continue reading “Castle Keep (1969) Surreal WW2 Fairy Tale With Burt Lancaster & A Bunch Of Sweet Ladies.”

Johnny Got His Gun (1971) Jesus H Sutherland This Film Is FUBAR

Johnny Got His Gun (1971) movie poster film dalton trumbo

Jeepers creepers, what can you say! How deep can a film go? Seriously this is an emotional thought-provoking, haunting journey into the human soul. What happens to the human mind when that is all you are, just a mind?

Tagline – The most shattering experience you’ll ever live.

Continue reading “Johnny Got His Gun (1971) Jesus H Sutherland This Film Is FUBAR”

Eastern Condors (1987) Sammo Hung & The Hong Kong Dirty Dozen

Eastern Condors (1987) poster film movie sammo hung dirty dozen vietnam

Any teenager growing up with a local video rental store near them during the 1980’s would of seen the shelves over filled with VHS cassette covers from the likes of Hong Kong promising non-stop action packed high adrenaline filled martial arts. Relentless Kung Fu fighting, crazy acrobatics and a barrel load of slap stick comedy. They never failed in bringing deep joy and wide opened, jaw hitting the floor shock as stunt men flew through the air smashing into all manner of bone crushing solid wall or concrete structure or propelled head first out of a bus window at full speed. These guys were incredible and we just couldn’t get enough of them. Continue reading “Eastern Condors (1987) Sammo Hung & The Hong Kong Dirty Dozen”

633 Squadron (1964) Flight Lieutenant Singh Attacks The Death Star

633 Squadron (1964) poster movie film cliff roberton star wars

The right honourable Flight Lieutenant Singh (Julian Sherrier) is not content with being a crack shot fighter bomber pilot with an awesome dashing mustache and a proper gentlemen to all the ladies. This valiant Sikh is part of 633 Squadron, a courageous band of brothers, tasked with a mission to take out a German V-2 rocket fuel plant built in Norway. A truly suicidal mission but this is the stuff these boys from Royal Air Force’s No. 633 Squadron are made for.

633 Squadron (1964) Flight Lieutenant Singh (Julian Sherrier) bomber pilot Continue reading “633 Squadron (1964) Flight Lieutenant Singh Attacks The Death Star”

King & Country (1964) The Horrors Of Man

King & Country (1964) movie poster dirk bogarde tom courtenay world war 1

When you get two impeccable performances taking center stage talking about the evils and horrors of men at war during World War 1. Descriptions so horrifying, shocking and unfortunately all so real, you can’t take your eyes of the screen for one heart stopping second. Two men of different standing and rank discussing the “crime” of desertion. One young, Private Arthur James Hamp (Tom Courtenay) shell shocked, battle worn, depressed, confused but honest, friendly and open. The other, Captain Hargreaves (Dirk Bogarde) a veteran of the Boer War, a man of compassion, a decent moral man. Continue reading “King & Country (1964) The Horrors Of Man”

The Final Countdown (1980) Pearl Harbor Revisited

The Final Countdown (1980) movie film kirk douglas martin sheen poster dvd

The award this month for the most silliest plot taken extremely seriously goes to The Final Countdown. Not a tongue in cheek to be seen. What can be seen though is an incredible array of military fire power. This film is a war machine fanatics dream, quite simply this is a giant Cold War, mines bigger than yours, show off exhibition. If you love jets of all sizes firing off from an aircraft carrier, you gonna love this film.

Tagline – Nothing in the world can prepare you for .. Continue reading “The Final Countdown (1980) Pearl Harbor Revisited”

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) Skirmishes, Ambushes And Booby Traps

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) movie poster film artwork burt lancaster vietnam war

This was a great surprise! Was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. Thought it be OK but had it chalked down as a low budget Vietnam war film, most probably by the numbers. It’s was getting late, I’ll watch the first hour to see if I like it. Two hours later I’m going to bed at way past midnight and up for work at 5.30, oopft I was mashed up but worth it especially when I saw these three classics pop up …….. Continue reading “Go Tell the Spartans (1978) Skirmishes, Ambushes And Booby Traps”

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) Bombastic Berlin Bomb Disposal Drama

Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) film poster movie artwork

Director Robert Aldrich teams up once again with Jack Palance. After enjoying their last outing together, the 1956 war film Attack, I was keen on seeing our Jack in another hero role. Off the back of Attack, IMDB recommended me the wonderfully titled 1959 film Ten Seconds To Hell. A story of six German ex-soldiers returning to Berlin to help clear and make safe the city from unexploded British and American bombs. Continue reading “Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) Bombastic Berlin Bomb Disposal Drama”