The Seventh Victim

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Total Count: 14


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User Ratings: 1,367
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Producer Val Lewton once more utilized leftover Magnificent Ambersons sets for his psychological horror piece The Seventh Victim. Kim Hunter arrives in New York's Greenwich Village in search of her errant sister Jean Brooks. Gradually, the naive Hunter is drawn into a strange netherworld of Satan worshippers. The story is a bit too complex for its own good (especially with only a 71-minute running time to play with), but editor-turned-director Mark Robson and screenwriters Dewitt Bodeen and Charles O'Neal keep the thrills and shudders coming at a satisfying pace. Lewton regular Tom Conway offers his usual polished performance, while veteran character actresses Isabel Jewell and Evelyn Brent look appropriately gaunt and possessed in the "cult" sequences.

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Critic Reviews for The Seventh Victim

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Seventh Victim

  • Aug 04, 2014
    I avoid ANY & ALL movies about satanism & devil worshipping like the plague so I was surprised that I watched this movie at all but it was on soooo..... I was truly surprised the way it started off.I was actually enjoying it at the beginning but as it went on, The movie just went straight downhill.It went from being pretty good to plain boring.I can't remember but I think I drifted in & out of sleep a couple times towards the end & I can't even remember how it ended.That should tell you what I think of The Seventh Victim
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2011
    <div style="width:175px;"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href=""></a> </div></div> <B><I>THE SEVENTH VICTIM</I> (1943)</B> WRITTEN BY: Charles O'Neal and DeWitt Bodeen DIRECTED BY: Mark Robson PRODUCED BY: Val Lewton FEATURING: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Evelyn Brent, Erford Gage, Ben Bard, and Hugh Beaumont GENRE: THRILLER/MYSTERY TAGS: noir, occult, <B>PLOT:</B> A woman tries to locate her missing sister who has vanished under sinister circumstances. COMMENTS: <I>The Seventh Victim</I> is eerie without being violent or explicit. The film creates a tensely pernicious, balefully enshrouding atmosphere of dread. Relying on the power of allusion, insinuation, and the visual presentation of rich, black mattes, <I>The Seventh Victim</I>'s singular story and guileless treatment of verboten subject matter sets it apart from modern movies when compared to current methods of creating horror. When Mary Gibson (Hunter) ventures to Manhattan in search of her missing sister Jacquelin (Brooks), she enters a foreboding world of corruption, poison, mental illness, knife-wielding assassins, murder and suicide. It seems that dear ol' sis stopped paying Mary's tuition, and so Mary, bright and full of hope sets out to determine her whereabouts. But none of Jacquelin's friends have seen her. We see her though. Jacqueline is striking and somber under her jet black hair and sharply planed bangs. Quiet, watchful, morose, her captivating visage thrusts onto the screen like a stiletto with her grave countenance and almost funereal presence. <div style="width:175px;"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href=""></a> </div></div> Mary locates and enters her sister's apartment. She finds it unfurnished except for a hangman's noose suspended over a chair. It's not an encouraging development. Worse, Mary discovers that without asking for payment, Jacqueline signed over her successful salon and cosmetic business to a -well, shall we say to an assertive, <I>independent</I> woman with whom she had an evidently rather chummy association. Being made in the 1940's the film declines to further explore the exact nature of <I>that</I> relationship. But is seems there is a locked room at the cosmetics facility and Mary wants to know what's in it. In trying to find out, Mary runs into a couple of private detectives who are looking for Jacqueline too, one of whom issues a warning and one of whom winds up dead. Before you can say, 'speak of the <I>devil</I>,' a shady doctor (Conway) shows up who knows all about Jacquelin, but isn't saying much. He's scared of something. Something unspeakable. And he knows that "sinister" means "left," but he sure isn't keeping to the right. In addition to the doctor, there are some mysterious professional types in the area of Jacqueline's last known whereabouts. They all know each other, knew Jacqueline and are aware of something else. But what? They sure are tight lipped. Just what is everyone so afraid to talk about? And why do they all dress to the nines, some of them in black, to meet in a dimly lit apartment late at night? <I>The Seventh Victim</I> is a spooky film noir made with wonderful use of black and white film's deep range of subdued tones. The cinematography creates a veritable study in angular shadows, gritty textures and plush charcoal, chocolate tints. Basement cafes grace the screen with low angle lighting. Street lamps' luminescent oases punctuate a sheet-like viscous velvet of gloom. Distinctive about the <I>The Seventh Victim</I> are it's dark atmosphere, even for a noir, and its refusal to conform to Hays Commission requirements in its frank, unconventional treatment of a variety of morbidly taboo material. An eerie shower scene precedes Robert Bloch's 1959 novel <I>Psycho</I>, and there are some hints at subversive feminism. Even the film score ends on a minor key. All of this is pretty racy for 1943, making <I>The Seventh Victim</I> a unique, precursor to the noir genre. <div style="width:175px;"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href=""></a> </div></div> Notes The character of Dr. Judd appears again in Val Lewton's <I>Cat People</I>. Actress Jean Brooks was thought to be quietly married at one point to Erich von Stroheim. Despite a couple of principle roles, stardom eluded her. Brooks's unique presence was never adequately exploited by Hollywood. The thespian's later years are as enigmatic as some of her characters. Fading into the billowing silver mists of off-screen obscurity, Jean Brooks's after-cinema life is shrouded in mystery and alcoholism. Her premature 1963 death in Costa Rica was overshadowed by the Kennedy assassination, and went unrecorded in Hollywood. <div style="width:175px;"><a href=""><img src="" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href=""></a> </div></div> <div style="width:120px;font-size:10px;text-align:center;"></div><a href=""><img src="" border="0" /></a><div style="font-size:10px;width:120px;text-align:center;"><a href=""><I>The Seventh Victim</I></a> - trailer</div>
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    This movie is predictable and unscary, but there are some good scenes too. This movie's not bad, but it's not good either.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2008
    Although most of the themes are left to imagination, as usual in any Val Lewton horror production, I surrender to the moody atmosphere director Mark Robson sets up. This was indeed a film ahead of its time, in its depiction of devil worshipers not as strange entities or mad caricatures, but as any rather normal person with desires of success. Two horror masterpieces came to my mind while watching this, Psycho and Rosemary's baby, both surprisingly melded in an excellent shower scene, in which the shadow of a lady with a hat looks very much like a horned satanic figure.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer

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