Seven Thunders (1957)

aka The Beasts of Marseilles
Article 3174 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-21-2010
Posting Date: 4-23-2010
Directed by Hugo Fregonese
Featuring Stephen Boyd, James Robertson Justice, Tony Wright
Country: UK
What it is: War drama

During WWII, two British POWs lay low in the old quarter of Marseilles, which they discover is populated by a number of refugees from the Germans. But how long can they hide here safely…?

“The Motion Picture Guide” partially classifies this movie as horror, but I suspect any horror fan would walk away from this one frustrated and disappointed. It does contain a horror element (there is a serial killer present), but this element remains peripheral to the plot for the most part, and furthermore, it’s the type of serial killer that’s in it for the money, and this detail tends to lessen the horror vibe of the concept. Those who decide to see it through will find a not uninteresting wartime drama, albeit one that feels a little cluttered with too many characters; it’s one of those movies that is based on a novel and feels like it. The serial killer does provide some memorable moments, especially during a scene where he describes to a victim just what is going to happen to him, and it builds to a nice climax when the Nazis take some extreme measures to flush out the refugees in the old quarter. I’d say it’s good, but not great.


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