Combustible Celluloid
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With: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard, Albert Gran, David Butler, Marie Mosquini, Gladys Brockwell, Emile Chautard, Jessie Haslett, Brandon Hurst, George E. Stone, Lillian West
Written by: Benjamin Glazer, H.H. Caldwell, Katherine Hilliker, based on a play by Austin Strong
Directed by: Frank Borzage
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 110
Date: 19/03/2013

Seventh Heaven (1927)

4 Stars (out of 4)

We'll Always Have Paris

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Frank Borzage's lovely gem Seventh Heaven (1927) is set on the eve of World War I and stars Oscar winner Janet Gaynor with her big-eyed, small doll's face. She plays a Paris gamine, terrorized by her absinthe-addled older sister. Charles Farrell plays a sewer worker-turned-street washer who rescues her by taking her in. Borzage -- who also won an Oscar -- directs with an intuitive sense of emotional temperature; he keeps things boiling under the surface while the screen only registers a simmer. Gaynor won a Best Actress Oscar for this and two other movies (Sunrise and Street Angel) from the same year. Writer Benjamin Glazer also won an Oscar.

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