The Seventh Victim (1943)

THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943)
Article #126 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 7-20-2001
Posting date: 12-3-2001

A woman searches for her missing sister, and the search leads her to a cult of devil worshippers.

This moody, bleak Val Lewton film is one of my favorites; it is loaded with so many fascinating scenes that I don’t mind the convoluted plot or the fact that certain parts of the story hold little interest for me. There’s a shower scene that is more than a little reminiscent of the one in PSYCHO, though no murder is committed; there’s the scene where the detective is stabbed, and the woman’s encounter with his corpse on the subway; and there is the chilling final scene of the movie that always sends the shivers down my spine. There are many scenes like these in the movie. I also like the fact that the first time you meet the woman’s sister, she is instantly recognizable from all the descriptions of her appearance given earlier in the story; you’d know who she is without a word being said. The movie marked the directing debut of Mark Robson, and features Kim Hunter in her first role, Tom Conway (in the same role he played in THE CAT PEOPLE; he seems to have survived his death in that movie), and Lewton regular Elizabeth Russell in one of those tiny but pivotal roles you just can’t forget.

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