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||IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from 1,891 votes
||Release: 1927 (Germany) /
||Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance
||Director: Frank Borzage,
||Stars: Albert Gran, Ben Bard, Brandon Hurst, Charles Farrell, David Butler, Dolly Borzage, Emile Chautard, Frankie Genardi, Gladys Brockwell, Janet Gaynor, Jessie Haslett, Lewis Borzage Sr., Marie Mosquini, Mary Borzage, Sue Borzage
||Synopsis: In Paris, in the early years of the twentieth century, lives Chico, a sewer worker with lofty aspirations. One night, Chico saves a young prostitute named Diane from the murderous rage of her tyrannical sister. Despite her lifestyle, Diane is honest and innocent, and when the police arrive to arrest her, Chico spontaneously claims that she is his wife. Forced to maintain this facade or else both face prison sentences, Chico reluctantly allows Diane to live with him -- and in the process, love gradually blossoms between them. However, the dark spectre of World War I has begun to descend upon France, and Chico and Diane cannot help but fall under its shadow. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
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Watch 7th Heaven - Alternative Versions.
There are some things in life I don't understand. Applied mathematics.
Bunions. The working class persistantly voting conservative. Frank Borzage
languishing in critical limbo. What is wrong with you people (I mean
critics, not you, dear reader)? It can't be because he made silly women's
pictures, because Ophuls, Murnau, Sirk and Minnelli have all appeared in Top
100 lists in the last two decades. I don't get it: Borzage was definitely a
master: of light, space, plot, critique and emotion. His films - of which I
have only seen four, not for want of trying - are among the most emotionally
intense and beautiful things in cinema. They offer the straightforward
weepie thrills we expect from melodrama, as well as an unexpected critical
Although I just about prefer the faded self-pity of THREE COMRADES, SEVENTH
HEAVEN is probably his masterpiece. It is astonishing in so many ways: let
me list some. The more I see of her, the more remarkable an actress I find
Janet Gaynor. The film's progressive politics - an impoverished victim,
suicidal, prostituted, heinously whipped by her sister, transforms into a
loving wife, fierce protector of her home, member of the workforce, and
eventual carer of her husband - owes much to her all-encompassing
The use of light and shade to represent the emotional life of the
characters. The (Americanised) Expressionistic use of space, which breaks
up conventional point of view to provide varying levels of experience and
ways of looking. The deceptively delicate poetry of the imagery. The tacit
outrage at a system that forces people to live so badly. Even the movie
score, uniquely, shows an intelligent perception of what Borzage was trying
Diane and Chico have many obstacles thrown in their way, both individually
and collectively, but the most terrifying and inexorable is that of the war.
It is quite shocking to find a melodrama - by its nature domestic, local,
specific, small-scale and personal - erupt into a war film, that most
national of crises. The effect is wrenching, but no more so than the events
of the melodrama which alternated the most radiant highs with the most
despairing lows. Witness the astonishing, jerking, tracking shot as Diane
flees her sister, shattering the smooth rhythm of composition and
Borzage, like no other director before Kubrick, is responsive to the farce
of war, as well as its horror. There are sublime scenes of comedy amidst
the carnage. The battle scenes put pretenders like ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN
FRONT to shame; the sheer scale and irrationality of war bursts the screen.
Points of identification become lost, the tyranny of destruction is a
perversely beautiful thing.
It is in this context that the couple's transcendent love must be seen.
What could have been as a desperately mushy romance with its talk of the Bon
Dieu and heaven, becomes a necessary rebellion, a refusal to succumb to
social pressures, war, nation's follies, domestic horrors, betrayal or
death. So the ending is not preposterous, but the perfectly comprehensible
hallucination of a woman who, having been raised from hell, could not
possibly leave heaven now. Imperishable.
Tags for 7th Heaven Full Movie
, Ben Bard
, Brandon Hurst
, Charles Farrell
, David Butler
, Dolly Borzage
, Emile Chautard
, Frankie Genardi
, Gladys Brockwell
, Janet Gaynor
, Jessie Haslett
, Lewis Borzage Sr.
, Marie Mosquini
, Mary Borzage
, Sue Borzage
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