7 Women

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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

Story of U.S. missionaries besieged by Mongolian bandits on the China border in 1935. John Ford's last film.

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Anne Bancroft
as Dr. D. R.
Margaret Leighton
as Agatha Andrews
Sue Lyon
as Emma Clark
Flora Robson
as Miss Binns
Mildred Dunnock
as Jane Argent
Betty Field
as Florrie Pether
Anna Lee
as Mrs. Russell
Eddie Albert
as Charles Pether
Mike Mazurki
as Tunga Khan
Woody Strode
as Lean Warrior
Jane Chang
as Miss Ling
H.W. Gim
as Coolie
Irene Tsu
as Chinese Girl
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Critic Reviews for 7 Women

All Critics (4)

Those that have seen it consider it one of Ford's finest achievements, but it's still a relatively unknown film.

Jan 10, 2014 | Full Review…

Thankfully Ford skips his usual sentimentality and cornball humor and drives home a hard-hitting period drama.

Feb 27, 2013 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Boasting top-notch cast, John Ford's very last, underestimated film celebrates the strength of women in dire conditions.

Jun 16, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

7 Women is, in actuality, a great film whose potboiler plot masks an incisive inquiry into the battle of the sexes.

Apr 13, 2005 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 7 Women

generally underrated. almost like a fassbinder film! anne bancroft is great in this

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Really solid final film from John Ford. Anne Bancroft is great!

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


Upon its release, "Seven Women" was unceremoniously dumped, becoming John Ford's last movie by default, probably because the studio had no idea what to do with it. Could it be because there is enough lesbian subtext to fill twenty doctoral dissertations? It is 1935 in northern China at an American mission, headed by Agatha Andrews(Margaret Leighton) who has an unrequited crush on Emma(Sue Lyon), one of the younger workers.(The scene where she nearly has a coronary when walking in on Emma washing up is priceless.) All at the mission wait patiently for the new doctor to arrive except the very much pregnant Florrie Pether(Betty Field), married to Charles(Eddie Albert) who has dreams of becoming a minister, who is freaking out due to hormones and the rumors of brigands in the area. When Dr. D. R. Cartwright(Anne Bancroft) does arrive, Agatha is shocked to discover that not only is she a woman and a very butch one at that, but that she swears, drinks, smokes and has had an affair or two.(There is some mystery about Cartwright's past concerning her not being able to work in America anymore. I would like to think she was performing abortions which while speculative is certainly possible.) That's not to mention the attention she gives Emma. So, it is completely irrelevant to Agatha that she is very competent at her job as she seeks to have her removed from the mission. To be honest, Sue Lyon did have a weird effect on men during the 60's, so maybe I am reading too much into this after all. Regardless, "Seven Women" is still a highly entertaining movie that disabuses the notion of one faith being any better than any other. While the people of the missions regard themselves as shining perfection, especially Agatha, it is in fact tragic as to what they have been withholding from themselves. And while they may look down on Cartwright, believing her to be beyond redemption, she at least knows who she is.(And personally, I am in awe of her.) Seeing this as John Ford's last film, and that he made a career of defining masculinity, it is totally apt that he makes his last statement that it is not a person's equipment that makes him or her a man, it is their actions. (Originally reviewed in the blog section on May 14, 2009.)

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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