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on June 20, 2000
Vincent Price did not always do horror movies, but he was always a good actor and this film proves it. Price actually does not play the heavy in this film, that role falls to George Sanders who excels in a role where he deals out treachery. Price, Sanders and Margeret Lindsay all give outstanding performances. This may not be Vincent Price's best film, but it certainly ranks up there as one of his best performances. This is not a horror film, but it is a dark film that shows the impact greed can cause. The ending seems a little rushed, but it is still effective. There are no special effects and just simple sets, but the story and fantastic acting make this a great film for a wide range of viewers.
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on February 11, 2010
THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES (Joe May, 1940) is typical Golden era studio-bound Hollywood fare. This DVD release has the film in gorgeous black and white and very good sound quality, but no subtitles at all and no extras.
It is based on a classic story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This tale of betrayal, time-defying love and revenge revolves around two brothers of very different character, one joyously romantic (the tall and early Vincent Price in his 6th film credit), one greedy and vile beyond belief (the tall and great George Sanders, of many a classic movie). Sanders, strangely, doesn't seem completely at ease with his part, maybe because the character he plays is quite one-dimensional, with no redeeming feature, exhibiting no charm or wit (Sanders' trademark roles have those two elements). It's Price who shines most here, his part requiring him to display a wide range of emotions, from unabashed romantic love to a doomed sense of fate, from sprightly young musician to revenge seeker to former convict in old age. One interesting side of the story is its psychanalytical use of the curse plaguing the Pyncheon family. The supporting actors are uniformly good, and the musical score is by Hubert J. Salter. 87 minutes of the best B-movie kind, from a time when actors had room to stretch and carry the films on their shoulders, without the help of special effects or fast editing.
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on March 5, 2010
I am glad I bought a copy of this DVD. I must admit the menu thing does not work like typical DVD copies but the movie transfer is of enough quality to me. The transfer comes in original Standard format and no subtitles are provided. As far as the movie concerns, I really enjoyed Vincent Price in his betrayed brother role. I really think Vincent Price was a top drama actor not only suitable for horror films. I think many people would enjoy the story. It has everything, brother to brother jellowsy, impossible love, and sweet revenge, all that without the need of special effects. Great movie.
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on January 12, 2015
THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES(1940) Directed by Joe May. Score by Frank Skinner. Script by Lester Cole. Based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Starring George Sanders, Margaret Lindsay, Dick Foran, Nan Grey, Cecil Kellaway, Alan Napier, Miles Mander, Charles Trowbridge, Edgar Norton, Michael Mark and Vincent Price.

The film tells of the final members of the cursed Pyncheon family to live in the ancient house of Seven Gables. The story involves a wicked brother who, out of greed and superstition, frames his elder brother for the death of their father only to find himself banned from the house by his brother's lover who unexpectedly comes into it's possession. Years later the brother sees another chance to get the house only to discover his plots foiled by the return of his brother, an ancient curse and young love.

A well done film all around with perfect performances and several truly moving sequences---the elder brother's homecoming is touching and sad and the final scene as Kellaway sees the lovers as they once were is inspired---, this Universal film also makes for an odd viewing experience. While made by Universal and involving much of their horror talent both before and behind the camera and involving a story that features an old dark house,accusations of witchcraft, family curses and a sequence that had to have influenced Corman where Price looks at the portraits of his ancestors while telling of his family's dark history, the film is NOT a horror film but rather seems to exist in a netherworld of the genre's periphery.

That said, it is still worthwhile viewing. George Sanders gives what must be the first of his long line of sneering, snobbish, sophisticated "cad" villains and as always is superb. The rest of the cast of familiar friends be it Norton or Marks give solid expectedly good performances. Mander is excellent as an Abolitionist on the verge of being found out as a slave trader. Lindsay has several magnificent moments--especially the scene where she ejects Sanders from the house. Both she and Price have to play characters who age considerably as the story progresses and both do a thoroughly convincing job.

The script by Communist Lester Cole is surprisingly skilled and non-turgid. Only Foran's character is saddled with the unlikely for the 1840s Party Bromides that Coles was expected to insert in his films.

As the leading man/love interest, Price is as good as everyone else and indicates that this young man just may have a career ahead of him. Basically playing a Roderick Usher or a Don Medina who DOES NOT go mad, Price effectively foreshadows his later career while simultaneously showing the lighter flip side of the darker characters he would play later on. However he does get a few moments to rave and laugh maniacally. He also sings.

An absolute MUST for Price fans and a just an all around highly recommended picture.

"God hath given him blood to drink."
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on November 26, 2010
This is one of our most favorite movies and we're thrilled to get it on DVD! The story is very gripping and begins with a bang! The good old movies are the best. Amazon makes it just too tempting to buy more.
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on June 8, 2016
Any movie with Vincent Price is worth watching. This one is a good rendition of the classic tale. I remember reading this in school and enjoyed it very much. This is a fine version of the story and the DVD production is an excellent quality. This is a family friendly film, but could frighten very small children. Enjoy!
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on October 28, 2013
The House of the Seven Gables is a 1940 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It stars George Sanders, Margaret Lindsay, and Vincent Price.

In 1828, the bankrupt Pyncheon family fight over Seven Gables, the ancestral mansion. To obtain the house, Jaffrey Pyncheon obtains his brother Clifford's false conviction for murder. Hepzibah, Clifford's sweet fiancée, patiently waits twenty years for his release, whereupon Clifford and his former cellmate, abolitionist Matthew, have a certain scheme in mind. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>
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on May 24, 2010
Surprisingly effective, this very early effort (1940) by Vincent Price hints at his horror excellence to come. Although there's little true terror here, witness the sudden turn of madness at the end of Clifford's murder trial. Vincent plays it to a T. And if you're looking for something else along these lines, consider "Dragonwyck" (1946) from the Fox Horror Classics Collection Volume 2 (Dragonwyck / Chandu the Magician / Dr. Renault's Secret), another literary-based melodrama starring Vincent Price made shortly after "The House of the Seven Gables." It pairs nicely with this movie.
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on March 14, 2015
It was this movie as a 6th grader, that made me want to read the full book. And so my mom bought it for me--I still have the copy. I decided to do a book report in the 6th grade and was denied. I and my parents prostested. The school board did not think a BLACK 6th grade female could understand a book like this--later the truth came out--the 6th grade teacher had never read the book---you do the math. The school board was ordered to allow it and they had to get a college lit instructor to listen to and read my report. That Professor (whom I later took classes from), told the 6th grade teacher, school board to leave me alone and let me read any book. She wished her college students understood the book and Hawthorne! Testing later showed I could read at the college level. This story and movie are in my collection to remind me of my love of good books, movies and how a 6th grader beat the system. A book can do that to anyone.
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The 1940 theatrical version of THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES bears little resemblance to Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel.

VHS art work depicts Vincent Price in a starring role. Although his was a main character, the pivotal role in this melodrama clearly belongs to Margaret Lindsay as Hepzibah Pyncheon. She's in the lion's share of scenes and is clearly most affected by events that are often beyond her control.

SYNOPSIS--
The seven-gabled house has been cursed since the 1600s, when Geoffrey Pyncheon caused the execution for witchcraft of an innocent man. Matthew Maule's property is usurped by Pyncheon; thus the origin of the famous curse.

In 1812, bad investments of Jaffrey Pyncheon (Sanders) bankrupt the family, so older brother Clifford and father Gerald (Emery) ally against him to sell the home. The three men quarrel. Later, the father changes his mind about selling. He and a disappointed Clifford shout at each other until the old man dies from a sudden seizure. Jaffrey, who saw what happened testifies in court that Clifford murdered their father. His brother is imprisoned for life.

With Clifford eliminated, Jaffrey believes the house is now his. Plans to search for treasure rumored hidden on the Pyncheon estate are thwarted at the will reading, when sole ownership is given to Cousin Hepzibah, who is also Clifford's fiancée. She immediately banishes Jaffrey then resolutely waits, praying over the many years for her love's release from prison.

Some two decades later, fate brings Clifford in contact with Matthew Maule (Foran), descendant of the first man to be wronged by a Pyncheon. They become fast friends and together plot revenge against Jaffrey.

Related item:
Hawthorne published THE SCARLET LETTER in 1850, one year before "Seven Gables." This 1934 version features silent era stars Colleen Moore and Henry B. Walthall. (VHS) (DVD)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(7.1) The House of the Seven Gables (1940) - George Sanders/Margaret Lindsay/Vincent Price/Dick Foran/Nan Grey/Cecil Kellaway/Alan Napier/Gerald Emery/Charles Trowbridge
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