The Best Old Movies On a Big Screen This Week

04/17/2013 9:30 AM |

The Mortal Storm Frank Borzage Jimmy Stewart

The Mortal Storm (1940)
Directed by Frank Borzage
This great American director worked under the influence of F.W. Murnau; from the German émigré he learned how Expressionist lighting and a moving camera could be used to show sweethearts uniting against a dangerous encroaching outer world. Storm unfolds in Nazi Germany, where “non-Aryan” Professor Viktor Roth (Frank Morgan) proclaims the value of personal freedom as his grown children choose their paths. His two sons become National Socialists while his daughter Freya (Margaret Sullavan) and her darling Martin Breitner (James Stewart) follow him in resisting the Party. Storm’s release led to all MGM films being banned in Germany, with good reason. The film’s chief villain is Fascism, to be defeated by love. Aaron Cutler (Apr 20-21 at MoMA, part of its The Weimar Touch)

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