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 »
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
A compelling story of the triumph of the human spirit
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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