“May we not believe as we choose and allow others to do the same?”
Respected professor Viktor Roth (Frank Morgan) lives happily in Germany, until Hitler comes to power and his family is torn apart by ideological differences.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Bonita Granville Films
- Dan Dailey Films
- Family Problems
- Frank Borzage Films
- Frank Morgan Films
- Jimmy Stewart Films
- Margaret Sullavan Films
- Robert Stack Films
- Robert Young Films
- Ward Bond Films
- World War Two
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this classic anti-Nazi film (made before America entered the war) features sensitive direction by Frank Borzage and insightful performances by its stars (Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, and Frank Morgan). Borzage wisely spends ample time showing us Professor Roth’s idyllic existence before Nazism pervades the minds of his impressionable young students; the contrast is all the more striking for it. While it’s true, as Peary notes, that you never quite forget this is a Hollywood movie, I’m not sure why he singles out Jimmy Stewart’s performance as especially hard-to-swallow, given that none of the Hollywood actors make any attempt at German accents. Note that the word “Jew” is never used in the film; instead, Professor Roth is repeatedly referred to as “non-Aryan”.
- Jimmy Stewart as Martin Breitner
- Margaret Sullavan as Freya Roth
- Frank Morgan as Viktor Roth
- A poignant look at a family torn apart by war
Yes. As one of the first anti-Nazi Hollywood films made before America entered the war, it’s worth seeing for historical purposes alone.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)