Ministry of Fear
With Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond .
US, 1944, 35mm, black & white, 86 min.
Print source: Universal
Based on a novel by Graham Greene, Lang's rarely screened Ministry of Fear is the most stylized of Fritz Lang's American films, an Expressionist tour de force that uses extraordinary shadows and chiaroscuro lighting to channel the paranoia of a cruelly victimized man, just released from an asylum in England, into a vision of the menacing and intrigue-fueled world that awaits him. Ray Milland proves himself once again to be one of Paramount's most versatile stars by making palpable the angst and cold sweat of a man trapped in a nightmare, propelled by dark forces he somehow instinctively understands. One of several of Lang's films to explore wartime espionage themes, Ministry of Fear remains a thrilling and genuinely frightening evocation of London under siege.