Director Fritz Lang was disappointed in "Ministry of Fear" because the producer and the screenwriter, Seton I. Miller, were the same person, and Miller the producer wouldn't let Lang rewrite Miller the writer's script, which Lang said "had practically none of the quality of the Graham Greene book."
Forrester works for the Ministry of Home Security, a genuine British governmental department established in 1939 to defend the UK's civilian population against enemy action.
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. An immediate local favorite, this film received its initial telecast in Omaha Thursday 18 December 1958 on KETV (Channel 7), followed by Chicago Monday 5 January 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2); it afterwards aired in Milwaukee 29 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Phoenix 10 May 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Seattle 9 July 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), in Minneapolis 22 September 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), in Detroit 11 November 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Pittsburgh 25 November 1959 on KDKA (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 1 January 1960 on WCAU (Channel 10), in St. Louis 28 May 1960 on KMOX (Channel 4), in New York City 19 August 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles 7 July 1961 on KNXT (Channel 2), and in San Francisco 16 September 1961 on KPIX (Channel 5). The 2K digital restoration was released on DVD 12 March 2013 as part of the Criterion Collection, and it also now receives an frequent welcome cable television airing on Turner Classic Movies.
Dan Duryea rarely played foreigners like Cost, but usually played gangsters or outlaws like Waco Johnny Dean in Winchester 73.
Paramount paid Graham Greene £10,000 for the film rights to his novel, money he was very glad to have in wartime England. However, he was very disappointed in the film, especially as it had been directed by Fritz Lang, a film-maker he especially admired. Years later, Greene briefly met Lang, and the director made a point of apologizing to him for the film, by which Greene was touched.