When her older sister Jacqueline disappears, Mary Gibson is forced to leave her private school and decides to travel to New York City to look for her. A bit naive and out of her depth, she is not quite sure how to go about finding her. Eventually she meets Gregory Ward, her sister’s husband and a mysterious psychiatrist, Dr. Louis Judd who claims to know of Jacqueline’s whereabouts. What she doesn’t realize is that her sister became involved with devil worshipers who now want to eliminate her for having revealed their existence. —IMDb
Mark Robson (4 December 1913 – 20 June 1978) was a Canadian-born film editor, film director and producer in Hollywood.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, he moved to the United States at a young age. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles then found work in the prop department at 20th Century Fox studios. He eventually went to work at RKO Pictures where he began training as a film editor. In 1940 he worked as an assistant to Robert Wise on the editing of Citizen Kane in addition to several other films. Both he and Wise benefited tremendously from producer and screenwriter Val Lewton, who promoted Robson from film editor to production assistant and later as director. In 1943, at the insistence of Lewton, Robson assisted Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur in a series of low-budget horror films produced by Val Lewton, including Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie. Later, Lewton was instrumental in promoting Robson to the director’s chair for films such as The Seventh… read more
A bleak, unsettling (if needlessly convoluted) chiller where Lewton's trademark atmospherics are amped up to eleven. The final 15 minutes (Jacqueline's "dark night of the soul") are especially haunting and unnerving. It's an intoxicating cocktail made up primarily of vintage Val Lewton ingredients: an imperiled beauty in semi-silhouette, the cavernous alleyways, the ever-encroaching shadows, the stranger lurking in the frame's periphery, that final cataclysmic moment that defies all logic of classical studio filmmaking. The shower scene is also worth mentioning, as it is a clear precursor to the famous scene from PSYCHO. But in its strange way, THE 7TH VICTIM almost surpasses Hitch. The hypnotic interplay of shadow and water-slicked texture, the slow-burn dread, have an almost mesmeric beauty. Bonus points: we get a few fleeting glimpses of RKO's stockpile of sets from THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS.
‘Hollywood’ in the ’30’s and early ‘40s was a producer’s industry thanks to the production line ethos of the major studio’s. In the days before the ‘director-as-auteur’ became the standard model of… read review
This film was shot in LA on RKO soundstages but everyone agrees, including John Ashberry that this is one of the greatest New York films of all time. From the way it captures the tension in riding… read review