Ministry Of Fear

Synopsis: Stephen Neale is released into WWII England after two years in an asylum, but it doesn't seem so sane outside either. On his way back to London to rejoin civilization, he stumbles across a murderous spy ring and doesn't quite know who to turn to.
Director(s): Fritz Lang
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
86 min


- Oh, there you are.

- Come in.

You know, it's interesting to watch

the last minute crawl by...

after so many of them.

I've always meant to have that thing speeded up.

It's a fine time to think of it.

[ Clock Chiming ]

[ Chiming Stops ]

Free man.

- You're not wasting any time, eh?

- Not if I can help it.

Where do you plan to go?


It's being heavily bombed these nights.

Don't you think some quiet town at first,

and get employment there for a while?

I'm going to spend the first month

being pushed and jammed...

by the biggest crowds I can find.

I want to hear people talk and laugh.

After that clock,

a sea of faces will be a good tonic.

Well, I don't blame you.

I'll walk to the gate with you.

[ Gate Latch Rattling ]

One parting thought, Neale:

Don't get involved

with the police again in any way.

A second charge wouldn't be easy.

- A quiet life from here on.

- Well, good-bye and good luck.

Thank you.

[ Lively ]

[ People Laughing ]

- Good evening to you.

- Evening. Ticket to London, please.

Yes, sir.

In the wink of an eye.

[ Continues ]

- What's happening over there?

- That's our charity fte.

The ladies are doing themselves proud tonight.

You might like to have a look at it

and spend a shilling or two.

- It's well worth it.

- May I leave my things here?

Certainly. Put 'em right there

on the bench.

- I'll keep me eye on 'em.

- Thank you.

- Good evening.

- Evening.

- Will you join our party?

- Yes.

The charge is a shilling.

Doesn't seem quite fair though.

It's so late. If you wait five minutes,

you could go in at the reduced price.

- It's all right.

- I always think it's fair to warn people.

We don't want them to feel cheated,

even in a good cause, do we?

No, no.

What is the cause?

Mothers of the Free Nations.

[ Child ]

Catch it!

Thank you.

Come, now, children.

Come along.

It's getting toward blackout time.

Now we'll have the treasure hunt.

Go and get your spades and dig,

and mind the vicar's petunias.

Now, run along. Run on.

Young gentleman...

won't you buy a ticket and guess its weight?

It's a shilling.

Whoever is closest wins it.

- All right.

- [ Laughs ] Thank you.

- Oh, uh, three pounds five ounces.

- [ Laughing ]

A very good guess, I should say.

Your wife must have been teaching you.

I have no wife.

Now you must try the fortune-teller's.

You really must.

Mrs. Bellane is wonderful.

She told my son--

I was just telling this gentleman

about Mrs. Bellane and my son.

- Eh--

- Oh, I'll see her.

Oh, thanks. How nice.

Oh, isn't he a lovely gentleman?

Sit down...

and cross my palm with silver.

Your hand.

You're up to date here.

Electric light.

First the character, then the past.

By law I'm not allowed to tell the future.


You have found true contentment

in a happy marriage.

- I am not married.

- Then you will be, heaven help the woman.

Oh, don't be angry, please. I haven't

had as much pleasure in two years.

- I mean it.

- Really?

Well, then, let's get on with it.

Now the past.

This line that runs here--

You have made one woman happy.

Is something wrong?



Forget the past.

Just tell me the future.

My instructions are these:

What you want is the cake.

You must give the weight...

as 4 pounds 15 1/2 ounces.

- Well, is it the right weight?

- That's immaterial.

Don't I hear any more fortune?

No. You can go now.

Well, thank you.

I'll try it.

[ People Laughing, Chattering ]

- I would like to buy another chance.

- Bravo!

That's a splendid idea!


I would say 4 pounds 15 1/2 ounces.

[ Laughing, Chattering Stops ]


Anybody could tell you're a bachelor.

As a matter of fact, the gentleman has won it.

He's not more than a fraction of an ounce out.

You'd better not eat too much.

It'll be heavy as lead.

On the contrary.

It's made with real eggs.

There you are.

- Thank you.

- Thank you.

[ Vehicle Approaching ]

[ Brakes Squeal ]

Yoo-hoo! Yoo-hoo!

Will the gentleman with the cake please wait?

Oh, I've made a terrible mistake

about the weight.

I'm so sorry, but it wasn't what you said.

The real weight is three pounds

and two ounces...

and the other gentleman won it.

- What gentleman?

- There, with Mrs. Bellane.

- What did he guess?

- [ Laughing ] Oh, much closer.

Three pounds and eight ounces.

In that case, I still win. My first guess

was three pounds and five ounces.

Give the gentleman this shilling

and tell him you're awfully sorry.

- Good night.

- But--

You don't find many good cakes these days.

I told you it'd be worthwhile.

Here's an empty one

where you can stretch out and sleep.

There's no reading with those dim-out lights.

And keep the curtains drawn.

- All right.

- The blasted Nazis'll be over in a bit.

The red alert just went up.

I hope our lads give 'em a proper pasting.

- Well, good night, sir.

- Good night. Thank you.

- Hope they don't bomb the railway.

- I hope.

[ Tapping ]

Is there space here for one more?

It's empty except for me.

Come in.

- Here.

- [ Whistle Blowing ]

- That's right.

- Thanks.

- You're very kind.

- Not at all.

Good to have company.

[ Brakes Screech ]

[ Engine Chugging ]

Going through to London?

Yes. They say the red's up.

So I was told.

It seems strange to hear people...

tell of the blackout.

I guess I'm better off than most...

at getting about in the dark.

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Seton I. Miller

Seton Ingersoll Miller (May 3, 1902 – March 29, 1974) was an American screenwriter and producer. During his career, he worked with many notable film directors such as Howard Hawks and Michael Curtiz. Miller received two Oscar nominations and won once for Best Screenplay for fantasy romantic comedy film Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) along with Sidney Buchman. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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