Friday, March 27, 2015

The Seventh Victim (1943)

Starring Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter, Evelyn Brent
Directed by Mark Robson
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

After her sister disappears, a young woman travels to New York to find her, and fears she is in danger when she encounters characters who don't want her to be found.

Not quite a mystery, and not quite a horror film, although with elements of each, this picture is still enjoyable, although it might have been better off committing to one genre or the other.  Part of producer Val Lewton's series of films meant to induce terror through suggestion by leaving anything horrific offscreen, it does has some memorable scenes, including a murder committed in the dark and a memorable chase near the film's climax.  Still, a greater emphasis on twists and turns in the mystery, or greater focus on the nefarious activities of the film's villains, might have elevated this to something even better.  The film's casting is notable, with Tom Conway reprising his role from the unrelated Lewton picture Cat People, Hugh Beaumont of TV's "Leave It To Beaver," and future Oscar-winner* Kim Hunter in her film debut.

*Per IMDB, Kim Hunter won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in A Streetcar Named Desire

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