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The Seventh Victim [DVD]

Tom Conway , Jean Brooks , Mark Robson    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £11.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Seventh Victim [DVD] + Leopard Man [DVD] [1943] + Curse of the Cat People [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Oct 2010
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0040Y4IDW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,953 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Mary (Kim Hunter) travels to New York to discover the reason for her sister Jacqueline s sudden disappearance. The cosmetics shop that Jacqueline (Jean Brooks) owned has been sold and her rented room is empty, save for a solitary chair and a noose. Suspecting that her sister is under the influence of Satanists, Mary hires a private detective to stakeout the shop at night, but she then discovers that he has been murdered. Dr Louis Judd (Tom Conway) contacts Mary to explain that he is a psychiatrist and that Jacqueline is under his care because she is mentally ill. But when Jacqueline vanishes again, it becomes clear to Mary that she in the clutches of a satanic cult whose penalty for revealing anything about themselves is death. Six people have already been murdered...will Jacqueline become the seventh victim?

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
In her screen debut, the charming Kim Hunter (A Matter of Life and Death, Planet of the Apes) plays a vulnerable schoolgirl who is forced to journey to New York City to find her missing older sister (Jean Brooks), an unstable, suicide-obsessed loner who, it transpires, has fallen in with a group of Satanists...
Easily one of the most downbeat and depressing thrillers to come out of Hollywood's Golden Age, The Seventh Victim was a typically doom-laden effort from producer Val Lewton, whose run of horror movies made at RKO in the early 1940s also included the better known Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and The Leopard Man. However, even in the company of these dour mood pieces, The Seventh Victim stands out as particularly dark. The directorial debut of former editor Mark Robson, and the result of some painstaking research into a real-life coven by screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen, the movie was one of Lewton's few flops, solely due to the central theme; in the wartime US, nobody wanted to see such a humourless film based around unpleasant subject matter like mental illness and Devil-worship. When watched today, the film is still quite hard going; without the explicitly supernatural elements that marked his earlier hits, the `shapes and shadows' Lewton technique becomes even more terrifying, with one or two set-pieces in particular that are genuine shockers, whilst the fatalistic ending is guaranteed to leave viewers reeling.
There are some problems with the film, mainly related to its choppy pace; apparently slashed from around 90 minutes to just 71 minutes before it was released, the removal of so much footage was due the studio's desire to make it fit the usual B-movie format, but this left several characters' motivations unclear, and audiences somewhat confused. However, even in its surviving form, the film is worth seeing; many critics call it Lewton's masterpiece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The Seventh Victim is directed by Mark Robson and written by DeWitt Bodeen and Charles O'Neal. It stars Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell and Kim Hunter. Music is scored by Roy Webb and cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca.

When she is told her older sister Jacqueline has vanished, Mary Gibson is forced to leave her private school and travel to New York City to hopefully find her. Obtaining help from her sister's husband, Gregory, and the suspicious help of psychiatrist, Dr. Louis Judd, Mary finds that the deeper she goes the more dangerous the situation becomes, it appears that Jacqueline has got herself involved with something very sinister indeed.

He calleth all his children by their name.

Coming as it does from producer Val Lewton, one shouldn't be surprised that The Seventh Victim is a hauntingly poetic creeper of a movie, no shocks or out and out horror here, just a genuine sense of dread and a pervading sense of doom. When delving a bit further into the making of the picture it becomes apparent that an original cut of the piece was considerably longer, this explains a lot to me as the film, as good as it is in its 71 minute form, is not fully formed and at times not the easiest to fully understand. It would seem that although originally intended as a longer mainstream picture, a difference of opinion between Lewton and the studio (thought to be about the hiring of first time director Mark Robson) meant it was cut to a B movie standard.

The Palladists.

What remains, though, isn't at all bad, in fact it's unique. Robson's direction (obviously guided by Lewton) is perfectly sedate and in keeping with the mood of the piece, and between them they have conjured up some most unforgettable scenes and imagery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but impressive downbeat chiller 26 Sep 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Trimmed down to B picture length from a longer cut, something which shows most clearly in a rather hurried ending, this is never the less a very effective offering from Val Lewton's run of superior chillers from the 1940s. The plot follows young Kim Hunter (who later starred in Powel and Pressburgers masterpiece A Matter of Life and Death) as she travels to New York to search for her missing sister played by a vampish Jean Brooks sporting a striking jet black Betty Page hairstyle. The search is framed in a nightmarish, chiaroscuro world of shadows with an unsettling paranoia undercutting the action as Hunter's character is placed in a world of menace and foreboding omens; haunting scenes such of the discovery of a room whose main decoration is a noose and a detectives death in a gloomy corridor are extremely effective and in many ways prefigures Hitchcocks "Psycho", even down to a disturbing shower scene. With hints of lesbianism and themes of satanism, suicide and the inevitability of death, its a film almost Bergmanesque in its tone of fatalism.
The performances are all pretty low key, something that fits in with the films understated feel, with Tom Conway appearing as apparently shady psychiatrist Dr Judd, though like much in the film all is not as it appears. Conway, George Saunders real life brother, always brings something unique to his performances and it's a shame he didn't do more. His performance in this, the Cat people and as The Falcon in the RKO film series are always interesting to watch and full of nice, underplayed character work.
Not one for people expecting fast paced, action packed horror, but for fans of Lewton and slowly constructed psychological menace something of a gem that occupys a hinterland between horror and film noir, a shady no mans land that makes it fairly unique and is in my opinion one of Lewtons best works. Don't expect any extra's on the DVD but the transfer is fine enough. Best enjoyed on a winters evening with the lights out.
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