Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
A naïve young man is working on a logging camp beside a turbulent river. When it closes for winter, he opts to stay for the experience. He meets a woman who was the girlfriend to the boss ... See full summary »
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took ... See full summary »
Steve Tuttle, the titular lazybones, takes on the responsibility of raising a fatherless girl, causing a scandal in his small town. Many years later, having returned from World War I, he ... See full summary »
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>
When the great French film historian Georges Sadoul died in 1967, his friend Henri Langlois ,the curator of the French Cinematheque, turned to a screening to console himself.With thousands of titles at his disposal, he chose...Seventh Heaven. See more »
Don't you want to marry me?
But you never said... you love me. Couldn't you say it - just once?
I can't say it! It's too silly.
[walks around the room]
Well, this way then... Chico - Diane - Heaven!
Say it again! Say it again!
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Just first rate all around...the Gaynor/Farrell pairing at its best
7th Heaven (1927)
Coming at the end of the silent era, we might expect a film of the highest order in that silent era sense, untainted by sound, depending on gesture and action to keep the plot going. And Seventh Heaven really is a great film. It's complex, subtle, beautiful, and not clunky, not a bit what some people picture when they think of silent films.
It also is a great love story. Janet Gaynor was becoming a big star (she won best actress for this performance among others that year) and her counterpart Charles Farrell is a convincing charming actor. It's Paris 1914 when we begin, and that's not half bad. Then there are some early versions of the war, including some scenes with flame throwers that ought to surprise everyone.
What becomes of our two leads as they struggle to stay together during all this is for you to see, but it's told with economy (even at two hours the movie never drags) and with touching honesty. The director, Frank Borzage, made a whole bunch of good films during the 1930s, in the sound era, but this shows a real mastery of the earlier basics of cinema. Credit also goes also the cinematographer Ernest Palmer, a lesser known veteran who made the most of a lot of great sets and a range of interior and exterior scenes. Keep an eye on that, especially a moment toward the beginning where the camera follows the actors up the circular stairs, floor after floor, seamlessly. This will be echoed with perfection at the end of the film, so it's not just showing off.
And keep some Kleenex handy. It'll get to you.
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