Movie Mirrors Index

The Seventh Cross

(1944 b 112')

En: 7 Ed: 7

Based on a novel by Anna Seghers, seven men escape from a German concentration camp in 1936 and are tracked down.

Wallau (Ray Collins) narrates how seven men escaped from a concentration camp, and George Heisler (Spencer Tracy) sees him captured by men with dogs. Wallau refuses to talk and is tied to a cross. George sees a little girl and cuts his hand while climbing a wall to hide. He takes a coat, and boys report it to the police. George carries farm tools while a search catches another man. Crosses are put on seven trees. Franz Marnet (Herbert Rudley) finds Leo Hermann (Kurt Katch) and the underground in Meinz in order to help. George goes to his town of Meinz, finds a girl-friend, Leni, and asks for clothes. She refuses to help, and he takes some food. A prisoner on the roof is shot and jumps to his death.

George is given clothes at a theater and shaves. He goes to a doctor who treats his hand and by law has to say he is a Jew. Franz and Leo see four photos in the newspaper with a reward. George sees his photo, gets off a bus, and runs. Police chase him but give up. George finds the address of his contact but learns he and his wife were arrested. Fuellgrabe tells George they are the last two remaining free, but Fuellgrabe is planning to turn himself in.

A reward of 5,000 marks is offered for George Heisler. Paul Roeder (Hume Cronyn) greets George warmly, and he has dinner with Paul's family. Paul likes getting money for having children. George learns that his own son is in the SS. Paul finds out about George but says he can stay. Paul goes to architect Bruno Sauer (George Macready), who tells him to go away. Sauer's wife calls him a coward for not helping. Then Sauer goes to the underground and tells Leo and the others that a man came to him about George. Franz is given papers and a boat pass to take to George at Paul's.

However, Paul tells George that Sauer threw him out. Paul says he talked to Fiedler, and his wife says that someone asked their address. George leaves, and Paul takes him to Fiedler (Paul Guilfoyle). Franz asks to see Paul, but his wife Liesel (Jessica Tandy) says he is not there. Paul meets Fiedler, who says he got a room for his cousin. Paul takes George to the room and says he will ask Reinhardt about Franz.

The next day Franz sees Paul arrested. At the inn the servant Toni (Signe Hasso) saw George's picture in the paper and asks how long he is staying. George says she is pretty. Franz reports to Leo. Fiedler hears that the Gestapo picked up Paul, and he warns George, who stays because he trusts that Paul will not talk. Paul is released and calls on Reinhardt, finding Franz there. George gets the papers and instructions from Franz delivered by Schlamm (Felix Bressart). Toni brings George beer and warns him the Gestapo will be checking, hiding him in her room. Paul comes home, and Liesel cries. Paul says the Gestapo did not know much. George and Toni embrace and have only a few hours together. Then George goes to the boat.

Even friends are not sure whom they can trust in the oppressive mood of fear in Nazi Germany because innocent people are being captured and killed for having dissenting political views.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index