In 1828, the bankrupt Pyncheon family fight over Seven Gables, the ancestral mansion. To obtain the house, Jaffrey Pyncheon obtains his brother Clifford's false conviction for murder. Hepzibah, Clifford's sweet fiancée, patiently waits twenty years for his release, whereupon Clifford and his former cellmate, abolitionist Matthew, have a certain scheme in mind. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Second rate, compressed version of Hawthorne novel...
Despite the fact that this is a compressed and revised version of the Hawthorne novel, THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES manages to overcome its budget limitations (on a B-film scale) to become an interesting, if over-plotted version of the original story.
Margaret Lindsay, who usually had second femme leads at Warner Brothers during the '30s, is the central character here and acquits herself admirably. She's so good as the repressed Cousin Hepzibah, a bitter woman who becomes a reclusive owner of the house, that's it's a wonder she didn't have a bigger career. Others in the cast, including George Sanders, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, Dick Foran and Cecil Kellaway, perform admirably too. In fact, the acting is on the strong side and better than the script deserves.
But for all its strengths, the story is too complex to be told in 90 minutes and much had to be handled too swiftly to give any of the characters real depth. It's a nice try, and the film itself is worth seeing as a product of its time.
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