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The 7th Cross

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ken123
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The 7th Cross

Postby ken123 » February 8th, 2010, 3:56 pm

I dont know it. :(

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rohanaka
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby rohanaka » February 8th, 2010, 6:58 pm

I very much enjoyed getting to see this film today. I had seen only a brief part of this film some time ago when TCM aired it before and it made me so curious that I have been waiting to catch the entire film ever since.

Very moving. Very inspiring. Very thought provoking story. And you know... although Tracy is the main character (sort of) he is not the main actor in this film. I mean to say that there are a lot of OTHER characters playing out the various moments in the story around him... the REAL tale of events sort of surrounds him as he goes along his journey. I am sure I could say it better but it was an interesting way to present the story.

I think Hume Cronyn HAD to be my most fave character in the film. And I am sure I am not alone. I imagine others would say so too. He really made me think because he was so typical of many people who lived in that time. (and perhaps even in today's time as well) He had NO idea what was REALLY going on around him... mostly because he was happy to just live his life and provide for his family and not think too much about what was really happening around him... He was more or less wilfully ignorant of reality... until Tracy showed up at his door and brought reality TO him.... and then he had to choose. I liked how the whole chain of events played out for him and his wife.

Again... I am really glad I got to see this film. My only regret is that I did not go w/ my original plan (which was to tape it and watch it later tonight.. because NOW I don't have it on tape... and I think this is one that would be good to pull out from time to time and revisit. There are a lot of themes running through it that would be good to chew on and think about over time. But alas... I also missed taping Hangmen Also Die... but am glad I got to see that one for the first time today too. Two really good stories about similar ideas and situations... I have had a very interesting and thought provoking afternoon...

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Professional Tourist
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby Professional Tourist » February 8th, 2010, 8:15 pm

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rohanaka
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby rohanaka » February 8th, 2010, 9:49 pm

She only has a very small role in this story.. but it really was a very strong moment in the film. She took such a tiny role and made it really stand out.

Mini Spoiler Alert:

I like how she talked about how the man she was expecting (instead of Tracy) was such a great acrobat and then goes on to describe the way he carried himself and how he looked before he jumps and then Tracy's character (who had just witnessed the man jump to his death) answers back solemnly that he knew what she meant... it was a very strong moment for Tracy too.
Last edited by rohanaka on February 8th, 2010, 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Professional Tourist
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby Professional Tourist » February 8th, 2010, 10:24 pm

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rohanaka
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby rohanaka » February 8th, 2010, 10:35 pm

bah... sorry for the spoilage PT.. I should have put in a disclaimer... I will edit my post... Hope you do get to see the rest of the film..

Ollie
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby Ollie » February 9th, 2010, 7:30 am

I did get a good copy of this - just in case.

kingrat
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby kingrat » February 9th, 2010, 4:44 pm

Rohanaka, thanks so much for your post on THE SEVENTH CROSS. There's so much to discuss about this film. During the first twenty minutes or so I wasn't drawn in, but then I became more and more involved, and I've thought about it often during the last month. Perhaps because I recently saw ACT OF VIOLENCE, I was aware of all the noir lighting and streets full of shadows and enemies, then the contrast of the dazzling white of George Macready's house. Fabulous mirror shot in Macready's bathroom. Who will help our hero? Where will the danger come from?

The actors take very different approaches to playing Germans (or, in Agnes Moorehead's case, an Italian). Spencer Tracy, like James Stewart in THE MORTAL STORM, doesn't try. "I'm an American movie star playing my usual character, so deal with it." I can eventually adjust to this. Jessica Tandy does try a slight German accent. Agnes Moorehead understands how to play someone who's not an American, just as she did in MRS. PARKINGTON. The posture, the vocal production, is slightly different without being exaggerated. Cronyn and Tandy are a believable couple, which heightens our sense of what Cronyn may be risking if he helps his old friend. I like the romantic interlude with Signe Hasso, and though the production code has to fudge this, I think we're supposed to believe that they consummate the relationship.

Some connections with other Zinnemann films: Tracy goes off to join the Resistance, just as Sister Luke does at the end of THE NUN'S STORY. The story begins in a concentration camp, as does the backstory of ACT OF VIOLENCE. Tracy goes looking for help against his enemies, as does Gary Cooper in HIGH NOON. Unlike Cooper, he's fortunate enough to find some. We could even draw parallels between Fatso in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY and the prison guards in THE SEVENTH CROSS. All in all, THE SEVENTH CROSS seems surprisingly central to Zinnemann's cinematic world.

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rohanaka
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby rohanaka » February 11th, 2010, 12:39 pm

kingrat wrote:Fabulous mirror shot in Macready's bathroom. Who will help our hero? Where will the danger come from?


That whole scene was a very tense one for me. I had NO idea what to think of Sauer or his wife. (she was the biggest surprise to me of all...) And I agree about the mirror shots.... very well done. The bit where Cronyn was leaving and almost walked into the mirror... way cool.

kingrat wrote:The actors take very different approaches to playing Germans


I always find it more believable when people just act instead of trying to add an accent. (similar to most of the performances in The Mortal Storm) We know that if it really WERE Germany (instead of a movie set) and if they really WERE Germans... they'd likely just be talking German (so we don't need a 'fake" accent to remind us where the story takes place). But you are right.. some of the accents were well done. Agnes did a very good job with hers.. and Tandy as well. (and I even liked how Cronyn spoke German to comfort his wife when he comes back from the interrogation too) But it did not bother me at all to see most of the "American" english speaking actors just use their normal voices.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD:
As I have thought more and more about this story and the messages that ran throughout it... one of the things I keep coming back to was Cronyn's character. (I know he wasn't the main character of the story.. but he truly is the one who more or less MADE this movie for me) And I have to say that as I have thought about him... I find him to be fascinating. (I liked the part when he told his wife about the realization he came to... that the Nazi's only knew what people TOLD them... if he kept quiet.. they really did NOT know as much as they kept telling him they did. He found courage in understanding that their REAL power came from the knowledge they gained by folks who were too afraid to stay silent)

Up unitl Tracy showed up on his doorstep he had managed to stay willfully, and happily ignorant of the REAL situation that was going on all round him. And only THEN, after more or less having reality THRUST upon him (or was it greatness? :) ) did he have to choose. He COULD have gone SEVERAL different ways. He COULD have been a "bad guy" and turned Tracy in the first chance he got out of blind faithfulness to "the cause". But he didn't. He COULD have TRIED to do the right thing and gotten scared and turned Tracy in out of fear of what would have happened to him or his family.... but he didn't. He might EVEN have tried to do the right thing all the way up until the day he was brought in by the gestapo and interrogated (and I am sure that was a VERY grueling day for him) and then cracked under pressure... but he didn't do THAT either.

Instead, he ROSE to the occasion.

When presented with the three-fold choice of whether to stay willfully ignorant and just not get involved.... OR to turn Tracy in... OR help him.... he chose to do what was right and good. (and I guess that IS the point to the whole story.... especially when placed in context with the ongoing narration from the story teller.. the man who died at the beginning of the film and was speaking to Tracy throughout the film) When given a choice between good and evil...MOST people will choose good.

Now I have to say from a personal standpoint... that is a "warm, fuzzy" point of view in the great scheme of things. I don't KNOW if I totally agree with that statement in a broad... sweeping... totally black and white way. There are spiritual connotations to that "most people choose good" statement that I have to maybe take excpetion to in a way. Because I do believe that spiritually, we all fall short of the mark of TRUE good in many ways. But having said that.... HOWEVER... from human and life and death point of view (dealing with matters of a CLEAR choice between right and wrong such as the ones presented in this film) I have to say that I found it very inspiring to see so many people who so willingly gave of themselves... even in very small ways (and also in some very BIG ways) to help a man they may not even have known. Some were even willing to put their very lives in danger to keep Tracy from harm.... and it gives me hope that perhaps there is a measure of truth in the theme of this story... at least it makes me WISH for it anyway. Were more people to truly be the sort to rise to the occassion (such as Cronyn's character did) Wow.. to borrow a line from "Satchmo"... what a wonderful world.

Ok... that was a bit of a detour there... ha.. leave it to me to jabber off on a tangent.

At any rate... I just really am glad to have gotten the chance to see this film. And I highly recommend it to anyone who has NOT seen it. It really is a powerful story. Thanks for letting me "gab" a bit about it, folks.

kingrat
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby kingrat » February 12th, 2010, 12:48 pm

Ro, I think you've taken us to the heart of the film, the reason it continues to fascinate.

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Vienna
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Re: The 7th Cross

Postby Vienna » October 30th, 2012, 4:39 pm

Wonderful film with an amazing cast. And such a moving turnaround when Tracy, as George, begins to see there is still humanity who want to help him . Herbert Rudley constantly trying to find him, Felix Bressart giving him the news of how he will escape and of course Oscar worthy Hume Cronyn as little Paul whose eyes are finally opened to what's going on around him.
A word too for an actor whose name I now know- Kurt Katch who perfected the role of the Nazi in several films including EDGE OF DARKNESS. Here, he ruthlessly stalks Tracy.


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