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The 7th Victim & Shadows of the Dark

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Seventh Victim (1943, 71)- Producer Val Lewton once more utilized leftover Magnificent Ambersons sets for his psychological horror piece The Seventh Victim. Kim Hunter arrives in New York's Greenwich Village in search of her errant sister Jean Brooks. Gradually, the naive Hunter is drawn into a strange netherworld of Satan worshippers. The story is a bit too complex for its own good (especially with only a 71-minute running time to play with), but editor-turned-director Mark Robson and screenwriters Dewitt Bodeen and Charles O'Neal keep the thrills and shudders coming at a satisfying pace. Lewton regular Tom Conway offers his usual polished performance, while veteran character actresses Isabel Jewell and Evelyn Brent look appropriately gaunt and possessed in the "cult" sequences. Val Lewton Documentary - Shadows in the Dark

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Producers: Val Lewton
  • Format: NTSC, Black & White
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Studio: Unknown
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000DZBNKS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,074 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 3, 2006
This Val Lewton-produced programer is noteworthy for just three things. First, an effective atmosphere of creepy mystery, accentuated by lots of night scenes, dark alleys and shadowy doorways. Second, some effective characterizations by actors who never escaped from B-movie purgatory. Third, and by far the most important, an excellent performance by Kim Hunter in her first movie role.

The Seventh Victim is the story of Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter), a young woman who leaves her school in search of her older sister, Jacqueline (Jean Brooks). Jackie had raised Mary, and now Jackie has disappeared in New York City. She had owned a hair salon but seems to have sold it to her partner, an older woman named Mrs. Redi. Mary talks to Mrs. Redi but gets no information. She tracks down a room Jackie rented above a small Italian restaurant and discovers a noose hanging there. A seedy private investigator says he'll help Mary. After they break into the deserted salon in the middle of the night, all the detective finds is a knife thrust into his stomach. Mary meets a lawyer who lies about his relationship with Jackie, then a psychiatrist who appears to be playing all sides of the problem; then a young poet who finds a new love of writing after meeting Mary.

But then Mary learns of a group of people in Greenwich Village who are...yes, devil worshipers. Can things get worse for Mary? Who among the people she's met genuinely want to help her and who might be members of the coven? Is Jackie a member of the coven...is she a murderer...does she love death? Can group hope cause a suicide? Does the quote we read at the beginning of the movie by John Donne -- "I runne to death, and death meets me as fast, and all my pleasures are like yesterday" -- apply to Mary or to Jackie?
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Verified Purchase
Martin Scorsese recently released his list of the 11 scariest movies. "Isle of the Dead" was #2. I'd never seen that one and I wanted to see what made it so great, so I bought the two-DVD set which included Isle and I Walked With A Zombie.

I wish I had bought this DVD first, because the Shadows of the Dark documentary gave the background necessary to fully appreciate Isle of the Dead, as well as Lewton's other movies. The commentary includes insightful remarks by Val Lewton's son, as well as modern horror masters like Guillermo del Toro, William Friedkin, Kim Newman, Neil Gaiman, and Robert Wise.

The Seventh Victim doesn't always make narrative sense, but that's not why we watch Lewton's movies. They're mesmerizing, not just because of the tension, the fear that's instilled in us, but because they happen in our world. Like one of the commentators said, Lewton doesn't take us to another universe. The characters live in our reality, and what happens to them could happen to us.

I highly recommend this, as well as the other double-DVD sets.
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The 7th Victim

"He calleth all his children by name"

"I runne to death, and death meets me as fast, and all my pleasures are like yesterday" ("Holy Sonnet" VII Jonne Donne.)

Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter) is called to the office of here boarding school. There she is confronted with the fact that her sister is missing; the person who tells this is Mrs. Lowood (Ottola Nesmith) the person who runs the school. Now where have we heard the name Lowood before?

As you have already guessed Mary fearing something is afoot, is compelled to locate her sister Jacqueline (Jean Brooks). On her quest she meets various characters, all wanting to help her. We must guess whether they are good guys or have nefarious motives. One such character is Doctor Louis Judd (Tom Conway same name and similar character used in "Cat People").

Will Mary find her sister?
On the way will Mary find true love, at what cost?
Why the seventh victim, who were the other six?

Yes I know this is a Val Lewton production and if it is his best or worst, this film has his signature of being more psychological than supernatural. That is why this film is more than just a who-done-it.

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"Shadows in the Dark"
This is more of a Val Lewton biography with more emphasis on his producer years.
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Engaging, eccentric but low-budgeted and short film that yet seems to have been influential. About a young woman at a boarding school whose older sister seems to have disappeared. She decides to leave the school to find her in New York City. Her search leads her to a group of white-collar satanists. Kim Hunter, who won an Oscar as 'Stella' in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE [1951], appears here in her first film. She plays the young woman and is well cast---her wholesome countenance and fragile innocence reminding one of a young Judy Garland. She appears a bit stolid at times but, then again, this was her first film and her occasional underacting seemed to add to this dour, morbid little film. There are two GREAT psychological horror scenarios in this. First, a mouse-faced private detective and the young woman have a lead as to her sister's whereabouts. They break into a factory in the wee hours of the night and the private eye is mysteriously murdered. The frightened lass descends into the NYC subway system and boards a train. After a round-trip ride back to the original station where she boarded a trio of late-night drunks enter her car. Two of the rubber-faced, leering 'drunks' are carrying their dissipated, limp, drinking buddy, arm-to-arm, between them and they sit across her. To her horror, the guy in the middle is the dead detective. Second, the eerie shower conversation. While showering Hunter is surprised by one of the female satinists who tersely warns her to stop searching for her sister and return home. The dialogue is done through the shower curtain with the dark silhouette of the visitor's head and hat resembling a deformed beast with horns, or use your imagination. Very haunting and macabre.Read more ›
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