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Pastor Hall

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Director  Roy Boulting
Music director  Hans May, Charles Brill
Country  United Kingdom
7.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Running time  1h 35m
Language  English
Pastor Hall movie poster

Writer  Leslie Arliss, Miles Malleson
Release date  27 May 1940 (London) (UK)
Based on  the play Pastor Hall (1939) by Ernst Toller
Initial release  May 27, 1940 (United Kingdom)
Screenplay  Roy Boulting, Leslie Arliss, Anna Reiner, John Boulting, Haworth Bromley
Cast  Wilfrid Lawson (Pastor Frederick Hall), Nova Pilbeam (Christine Hall), Seymour Hicks (General von Grotjahn), Marius Goring (Fritz Gerte), Brian Worth (Werner von Grotjahn), Percy Walsh (Herr Veit)
Similar movies  Related Roy Boulting movies

Pastor Hall is a 1940 British drama film directed by Roy Boulting and starring Wilfrid Lawson, Nova Pilbeam, Seymour Hicks, among others. The film is based on the play of the same title by German author Ernst Toller who had lived as an emigrant in the United States until his suicide in 1939. The U.S. version of the film opened with a prologue by Eleanor Roosevelt denouncing the Nazis, and her son James Roosevelt presented the film in the US through United Artists.



The film was based on the true story of the German pastor Martin Niemöller who was sent to Dachau concentration camp for criticizing the Nazi Party. In the 1930s, a small German village is taken over by a platoon of stormtroopers loyal to Hitler. The SS go about teaching and enforcing 'The New Order' but the pastor, a kind and gentle man, will not be intimidated. While some villagers join the Nazi Party avidly, and some just go along with things, hoping for a quiet life, the pastor takes his convictions to the pulpit. Because of his criticism of the Nazis, the pastor is sent to Dachau.


  • Christine Hall - Nova Pilbeam
  • General von Grotjahn - Seymour Hicks
  • Pastor Frederick Hall - Wilfred Lawson
  • Fritz Gerte - Marius Goring
  • Werner von Grotjahn - Brian Worth
  • Herr Veit - Percy Walsh
  • Lina Veit - Lina Barrie
  • Pippermann - Eliot Makeham
  • Erwin Kohn - Peter Cotes
  • Freundlich - Edmund Willard
  • Nazi Pastor - Hay Petrie
  • Heinrich Degan - Bernard Miles
  • Vogel - Manning Whiley
  • Johann Herder - J. Fisher White
  • Frau Kemp - Barbara Gott
  • Critical reception

    The New York Times reviewer wrote that "not until Pastor Hall opened last night at the Globe has any film come so close to the naked spiritual issues involved in the present conflict or presented them in terms so moving. If it is propaganda, it is also more...In its production the film is mechanically inferior. The sound track is uneven, the lighting occasionally bad. But in its performances it has been well endowed. Much of the film's dignity and cumulative emotion comes from the fine performance of Wilfrid Lawson as the pastor." while TV Guide called the film "far less heavy-handed than most wartime films Hollywood cranked out after Pearl Harbor."


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