The Seventh Victim 1943 ***


Producer Val Lewton’s name of a film is always an indication of quality; even in a butchered 71 minute cut, The Seventh Victim still exerts a certain power. Although European films like Haxan had dealt with devil worship, Mark Robson’s 1943 film was cut due to its forthrightness, locating a Satan worshiping cult in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. Out-of-towner Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter) arrives in the Big Apple in search of her missing sister Jacqueline, with the sinister cult of the Palladinists to blame. For an old film, The Seventh Victim seems to still raise the ire of censors, with lines and scenes truncated for TV showings; whatever the reasoning, this is a tight, sinister thriller, and clearly an influence of the urban unease of Rosemary’s Baby and the genre it spawned.


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