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Ministry of Fear

Ministry of Fear(1944)

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A pre-release synopsis in the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, and publicity materials in the copyright records, describes the plot of this film somewhat differently than the viewed print. According to the synopsis, the character "Rennit" is held hostage by the spy ring and released after "Stephen" and "Carla" kill "Willi." This scene May have been shot and cut prior to the film's release. Although copyright records list Aminta Dyne and Hillary Brooke's characters respectively as "Mrs. Bellaire #1" and "Mrs. Bellaire #2," Paramount changed the characters' names to "Bellane" after learning that a prominent and well-respected spiritualist named Erica Bellairs had died not long before production had begun. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Ministry of Fear was initially acquired as a vehicle for Alan Ladd, but he enlisted in the Army before production began. Ladd previously appeared in This Gun for Hire (see below), which was also adapted from a Graham Greene novel. Hollywood Reporter news items reveal the following information about the production: Rita Johnson was originally cast as "Mrs. Bellane #2," but withdrew from the cast due to illness. Pola Negri was considered for the role of the fortune-teller, and English comedienne Constance Little was engaged to sing in the film, but did not appear.