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The Seventh Victim by Val Lewton

The Seventh Victim (1943) starring Kim Hunter, Jean Brooks, Hugh Beaumont, Tom Conway, by Val Lewton

Synopsis of The Seventh Victim

When her older sister Jacqueline disappears, Mary Gibson is forced to leave her private school and decides to travel to New York City to look for her… The Seventh Victim

Reviewed by: The Masked Reviewer

Kim Hunter as Mary Gibson in The Seventh Victim

The Seventh Victim begins when headmistress of her school calls Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter) to speak to the . During which, the headmistress informs that her sister hasn’t paid for her schooling for months. And if Mary wishes to stay in school she must work at the school. Consequently, Mary decides to leave school to find her sister and find out what why she hasn’t paid. Upon reaching Jacqueline’s cosmetic company, people inform Mary that her sister had sold her shares months ago, and then disappeared. Where has Jacqueline (Jean Brooks) gone?

Cast of Characters

  • Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter, Planet of the Apes 1968) : Jacqueline’s charming, but naive younger sister.
  • Jacqueline Gibson (Jean Brooks, The Leopard Man) : A suicidal, hedonist that vanishes after selling her cosmetic business. Jacqueline is an enigmatic woman that somehow manages to charm everyone she meets with her apathetic attitude.
  • Gregory Ward (Hugh Beaumont, The Mole People, Leave it to Beaver) : Jacqueline’s husband, that very few people ever knew about before her disappearance.
  • Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway, Cat People) : A mysterious psychiatrist that claims to know where Jacqueline is hiding.
  • Mimi (Elizabeth Russell, Bedlam) : Jacqueline’s neighbor that constantly bemoans the fact that she is dying.
The Seventh Victim (1943) starring Kim Hunter, Jean Brooks, Hugh Beaumont, Tom Conway, by Val Lewton

In a previous movie Dr. Louis Judd in the same film universe he died. So I was very surprised to find his character alive and well in The Seventh Victim.

The cinematography is beautiful, and build up a wonderful tension you can cut with a knife. Likewise, the contrast of shadow, and light add visual depth, and atmosphere. The music is ever present, and a haunting presence at that. The story is complicated, yet intriguing. Val Lewton’s films always have a message to and this one is no different. But unlike some of his later works, the message creeps up on you with it’s unique style.

In conclusion, The Seventh Victim is a subtle film, with an excellent sense of timing. All of the questions, are interesting. Every character moves the plot forward. You can see that this film was made with love, and I cannot recommend The Seventh Victim enough.

I rate this film 5/5

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