The Seventh Cross
Reviewed in January 2010
Director: Fred Zinnemann. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Ray Collins, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Herbert Rudley, Signe Hasso, Jessica Tandy, Paul Guilfoyle, Signe Hasso, George Macready, Katherine Locke, Konstantin Shayne, Kurt Katch, Agnes Moorehead, Steven Geray, Kaaren Verne, Felix Bressart, George Suzanne, John Wengraf, George Zucco, Alexander Granach, Eily Malyon, Hugh Beaumont. Screenplay: Helen Deutsch (based on the novel by Anna Seghers).

Photo © 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1936, before major offensive, but Germany already purging itself of "all traces of human decency"; "concentration camps already full"; intro to characters direct to cam as they break out of fence; Spencer Tracy's face "a hollow husk - he'd soon too much and felt too much" - S TRACY?? Gun in the sludge during alert siren (marsh - pussywillows - German?); Overkamp: "A good German - stony-hearted, methodical, ruthless"; Ray Collins in his demise on the cross, narrating after he's dead, wishing George Heisler a belief in humanity - ; "fog had cleared, the birds sang" - remarkably pastoral; "Desperate and empty-hearted enough to kill her, too, if theneed arose!" (a pigtailed girl!); Coat theft - Westhofen conc camp this morning? - ; "Wrong man" turns out to be glasses-wearing professor escapee; "People were too busy with slaughter, too happily engaged in butchery"; (1936!); Some kind of wind-tunnel grapple on a storybook hill with old girlfriend Leni; Agnes Moorehead does her version of underplaying an Italian seamstress with a costume shop; Cronyn & Tandy so excited to produce more children, get more taxes, make more money by buliding more armaments; "Something at last began to stir within him..."; HC: "You think too much! Where's it get ya?"; Cronyn compunctions about turning out ST; Virtual split-screen in GM's apt created by huge panel-mirror; Wife excoriating GM for being a coward and lying to himself about eventually helping someone; Ray Collins getting more intrusive and gratuitous about Paul and Fiedler taking more chances, etc; HC hauled off by Gestapo in front of JT's window - she tries to knit but can't hold it together; ST to suspicious SH: "You're the prettiest girl I ever saw"; Bressart and Tracy: ants and moving sugar, each little bit (this is all awfully Julia); JT movingly cries as HC walks back in; "No matter how cruelly the world strikes at the souls of men, there is a God-given decency in them that will come out if it gets half a chance"; ending, unfortunately, on sappy ST/SH rapport; v.o. from Wallau: "Goodbye, George Heisler, I can leave you now" B

Academy Award Nominations:
Best Supporting Actor: Hume Cronyn

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