Pastor Hall 1940

 

Director: Roy Boulting

 

Writers: Ernst TollerLeslie ArlissAnna Reiner 

Rôle: Fritz Gerte

Release Date: 27 May 1940

 

Synopsis: This film is based on the true story of Pastor Martin Neimuller, who was sent to Dachau concentration camp for criticising the Nazi party. The small German village of Altdorf in the 1930s has to come to terms with Chancellor Hitler and the arrival of a platoon of Stormtroopers. The Stormtroopers go about teaching and enforcing 'The New Order' but Pastor Hall is a kind and gentle man who won't be cowed. Some villagers join the Nazi party avidly, some just go along with things, hoping for a quiet life but Pastor Hall takes his convictions to the pulpit.

Comment: Marius plays another German soldier, Stormtroop leader Fritz Gerte, a rather unsympathetic rôle and one in which he loves and/or lusts after Pastor Hall's lovely and spirited daughter, Christine. The film, for its time, was remarkably frank in its depiction of sexual matters. Marius, as Gerte, attempts sexual coercion with Christine, basically asking her to be his mistress in exchange for him getting her father released from the concentration camp (the scene is included below). There are also depictions of the consequences of teen rape (the 13 year old daughter of a friend of the Halls) and even allusions to abortion.

Reviews: There is very well written user review of the film on IMDb by joe-pearce-1. It says about Marius's performance: "Marius Goring, who was wonderful as cold-hearted villains, mentally unstable young men, good-hearted leading men and ineffectual weaklings (rather like a British Richard Basehart) is at his coldest here as the leader of a Storm Trooper brigade assigned to bring the town in which he is stationed into line with National Socialist policies. He is such a superb actor that, although he remains totally villainous throughout the film, we see the facade of his villainy wilt for a furtive moment when receiving a much-deserved tongue-lashing from Pastor Hall in front of the Pastor's fellow concentration camp inmates. Only great film actors can make a moment like that tell the way it does here."

Availability: DVD (Bounty Entertainment) Release Date: 21 March 2013.

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Fritz Gerte and Christine Hall

Pastor Hall article with photos in The Bystander 29 May 1940
Pastor Hall review in the Kinematograph Weekly 23 May 1940
Pastor Hall review in the Liverpool Daily Post 22 May 1940
Pastor Hall article in the Kinematograph Weekly 7 March 1940
Pastor Hall article in the Derby Daily Telegraph 16 July 1940
Pastor Hall - Nazis Try to Stop Film Shows article in The Daily Telegraph 14 February 1941