Welcome to The Saturday Night Special version of The Dungeon! Tonight's feature is a Val Lewton production, and while it's not real Halloweenie, it's pretty dang creepy just the same!
Val Lewton is a story unto himself, born Vladimir Leventon in 1904, yes, he was Russian, he produced an awesome run of horror flicks in the 40's, that included "Cat People," "I Walked With A Zombie," "The Curse Of The Cat People," and the three great Boris Karloff films, "The Body Snatcher," "Isle Of The Dead," and "Bedlam!"
Unfair as it might seem, after making 14 movies, Val died from a heart attack at the age of 46 in 1951!
Okay, I admit it, I haven't seen every movie in the world, and "The 7th Victim" was off my radar until just a couple of weeks ago when Lord Litter told me it was a pretty nifty flick, and that I could find it on "The Internet Archive," where if you look around long enough, you might find it too! I'd give you the link, but after all,.....
It IS Supposed To Be A Mystery!!
I can only imagine that he topic of Devil Worshiping was a pretty touchy subject back in 1943, so the group of Satanists in this film are a pretty benevolent lot that don't believe in violence, UNLESS, somebody crosses them, and then they have to go! Hence the title, "The 7th Victim!"
In a nutshell, the young lady on the left Mary Gibson, is looking for her older, wealthy and beautiful sister Jacqueline, who has suddenly disappeared. For some mysterious reason, she has sold her perfume business to this cranky old gal!
Mary Gibson was played by Kim Hunter in her very first role! Kim ended up winning an Oscar for her role as Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire," and had the ongoing role of Zira in "The Planet Of The Apes" series of movies among a host of other things!
Mary Gibson is able to find a room that Jacqueline had sometimes frequented in the past! What she finds is a little upsetting! It seems inconsequential but in the neighboring room there is a sick woman who walks around in the hall coughing! Her importance will not be known until the end of the film!
The sick woman is played by Elizabeth (Cat People, The Corpse Vanishes, Weird Woman) Russell!
Is it possible that Jacqueline is in the Morgue?
If you ever have any trouble at sea, these are the guys to call!
Hugh Beaumont has the role of Jacqueline's estranged husband! He doesn't seem to know where she is either, but he does periodically give money to a Doctor to take to her!
Of course, you know Hugh as The Beaver's Father Ward Cleaver, but we should never forget that he was also in some cool films like "Lost Continent," "The Mole People," and "The Human Duplicators!"
The movie is short, at just over an hour, and has terrific lighting like this throughout! In fact, the lighting in "The 7th Victim" is so good, it makes it a lot creepier than it really is!
This dimestore detective isn't much help to Mary! He was warned, but I guess he didn't take the warning seriously enough!
Finally, Jacqueline shows up, but only for a couple of seconds before disappearing again!!
Jean Brooks had the role of Jacqueline Gibson! Jean was also in "The Invisible Man Returns," "Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe," "The Green Hornet Strikes Again," and at least five of "The Falcon" flicks! Oddly enough, she died on the same day as the husband of history's most famous Jacqueline, John Kennedy! Consequently her death didn't get much attention! Jean only lived one year more than Val Lewton to age 47 after destroying her liver with demon alcohol!
The symbol of the Devil Worshipers found in a library book, and the new logo found on this bottle of perfume from Jacqueline's ex-company are the same! Now why would that be? Still, up to this point, the viewer has no real idea of what the Hell is going on!
Mary Gibson gets a warning and a suggestion that maybe she ought to go back where she came from! The silhouette even looks kind of like a devil!
Here are some of the followers of Satan! Your guess is as good as mine as to why the one lady has only one arm!!
The top billing in this film goes to Tom (The Falcon, Bride Of The Gorilla, The She-Creature, Voodoo Woman, Atomic Submarine, 12 To The Moon) Conway, as Dr. Louis Judd, but personally, while he was probably the biggest name in the cast, his role is not that exciting, in fact instead of showing you a picture of him (He's still got the biggest still in the posters), here's a cool shot of the Gibson sisters together!
They want Jacqueline to drink the Kool-Aid!
But after she refuses, they release her, but she's not free of their evil grasp, and they send a hit man to take care of her! Nice people! I'd stay away from these kind of people if I was you!
You'd think after 73 years I wouldn't mind telling you the ending, but I do, just in case you want to see it yourself some day! If you had a Wayback Machine, you could go back to 6:30 this morning and watch it on TCM!