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The Seventh Cross (1944)

Passed | | Drama, War | 24 July 1944 (USA)
In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

Helen Deutsch (screen play), Anna Seghers (based upon the novel by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... George Heisler
Signe Hasso ... Toni
Hume Cronyn ... Paul Roeder
Jessica Tandy ... Liesel Roeder
Agnes Moorehead ... Mme. Marelli
Herbert Rudley ... Franz Marnet
Felix Bressart ... Poldi Schlamm
Ray Collins ... Wallau
Alexander Granach ... Zillich
Katherine Locke Katherine Locke ... Mrs. Sauer
George Macready ... Bruno Sauer
Paul Guilfoyle ... Fiedler
Steven Geray ... Dr. Loewenstein
Kurt Katch ... Leo Hermann
Kaaren Verne ... Leni (as Karen Verne)
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Storyline

In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The seventh cross is still empty as George Heisler seeks freedom in Holland. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His Greatest Role See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Seven Crosses See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a publicity stunt for the film, MGM employed Spencer Tracy's lookalike stand-in Roy Thomas to go to seven US cities, where there was a 'George Heisler man hunt'. The first person who spotted him in each city won a $500 war bond. See more »

Goofs

When the escapees are being hunted, the only uniformed personnel we see chasing them are the 'Storm troopers' (Sturmabteilung) or SA. Even before the 'night of the Long Knives', the SA would not have been the only group to search for escapees & by 1936, the hunt would also have been carried out by the regular police and the Schutzstaffel (SS). See more »

Quotes

Bruno Sauer: I came because I had something to tell you.
Leo Hermann: We haven't seen you for some time. Sit down.
Bruno Sauer: No, thank you. I'll just tell you, and then I'll go. A man came to see me this morning. I had never seen him before, but what he told me may be something in which you are interested. He said he came with a message from a mutual friend. He didn't name the mutual friend, but I think he was speaking of George Heisler. You all know that Heisler escaped from Westhofen and is hiding somewhere in the city. He ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Spencer Tracy (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A compelling story of the triumph of the human spirit
6 December 2004 | by stoutmatthewSee all my reviews

Although slow moving, as was typical of Hollywood dramas of that era, The Seventh Cross tells a compelling story of the human spirit overcoming the evils of totalitarianism, and the recovery of one's faith in mankind during the midst of a societal distrust. George Heisel, portrayed by Spencer Tracey (one of his classic performances), is a broken man who has lost his faith in humanity who has escaped from a Nazi concentration camp with six others in the early days of the Reich when not all Germans loved the Fuerer and still had decent intentions. The Nazi Commandant vows to capture all seven and hang them on crosses he has built inside the camp. Six are caught, but Heisel escapes to Mainz, leaving the seventh cross empty. In Mainz, he realizes that he can't go to his old girlfriend (who has married a Nazi) or his family (his younger brother has joined the SS); almost all his friends have turned Nazi or been captured or killed save one, Paul Roeder and his wife Liesel (played by longtime married actors Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy). The Roeder's help get him in touch with members of the underground (including Paul Guilfolye, father of the actor on CSI) who help him escape to Holland. As he leaves, he realizes he must pay back not those who hurt him and broke him, but those that healed him, those who restored his faith in the God-given decency inherent in all of us if given the chance to rise to the surface. Sometimes it can arise in the most unlikely of places, but it is there.

To be placed alongside The Hiding Place, Schindler's List and Swing Kids. A must see for anyone who loves freedom.


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