Seven Footprints to Satan (1929)

Article #794 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-18-2003
Posting Date: 10-15-2003
Directed by Ben Christensen
Featuring Thelma Todd, Creighton Hale, William V. Mong

A man and his fiancee are kidnapped and taken to a house full of strange characters who serve Satan.

Title check: The title is a very direct reference to an incident that happens toward the end of the movie.

The above description can only give a vague sense of what this movie is like; after the kidnapping, the plot starts popping off into any number of directions, and a dizzying array of characters are introduced, leaving you with sense of disorientation in trying to figure out who can be trusted and who can’t. In fact, so many suspicious characters show up (an imposing housekeeper, an ugly man on crutches, a gorilla, a dwarf and a Fu Manchu-like oriental are only the most noticeable) that you start to wonder just how seriously you can take this movie, and that it may really just be a comedy of sorts, and certainly, the end of the movie bears this out. Certainly, the movie ends in probably the only way that could explain all that went before, even if it does feel slightly like a cop-out. Nevertheless, this is one of the odder “old dark house” movies you’re likely to see. Incidentally, the dwarf is played by Angelo Rossitto.


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