IMDb > The Seventh Veil (1945)
The Seventh Veil
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The Seventh Veil (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
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Popularity: ?
Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Muriel Box (original story and screenplay) &
Sydney Box (original story and screenplay)
View company contact information for The Seventh Veil on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 February 1946 (USA) See more »
Is There Always a SEVENTH VEIL Between a Woman and the Men Who Love Her? See more »
One dark summer night, Francesca Cunningham, a once world famed pianist, escapes from her hospital room... See more » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 1 nomination See more »
(9 articles)
Drive-In Dust Offs: Burn, Witch, Burn
 (From DailyDead. 13 February 2016, 10:49 AM, PST)

Power women of the 1950s: Muriel and Betty Box
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 5 October 2013, 4:07 PM, PDT)

Herbert Lom obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 27 September 2012, 4:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Seventh Veil Reveals Deep Seated Emotions on a Lighter Scale! See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

James Mason ... Nicholas

Ann Todd ... Francesca

Herbert Lom ... Dr. Larsen
Hugh McDermott ... Peter Gay

Albert Lieven ... Maxwell Leyden
Yvonne Owen ... Susan Brook
David Horne ... Dr. Kendall
Manning Whiley ... Dr. Irving
Grace Allardyce ... Nurse
Ernest Davies ... Parker
John Slater ... James
Arnold Goldsborough ... Conductor
Muir Mathieson ... Conductor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Beatrice Varley ... (uncredited)
Margaret Withers ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Compton Bennett 
Writing credits
Muriel Box (original story and screenplay) &
Sydney Box (original story and screenplay)

Produced by
Sydney Box .... producer
Original Music by
Benjamin Frankel  (as Ben Frankel)
Cinematography by
Reginald H. Wyer (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Gordon Hales 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Sinclair (dresses)
Makeup Department
Frieda Steiger .... hair stylist (as Freda Steiger)
Nell Taylor .... makeup artist
Production Management
Knox Laing .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bert Dorsett .... first assistant director (as Herbert Dorsett)
Art Department
James A. Carter .... set designer (as James Carter)
Frank O. Salisbury .... painter: portrait of Miss Todd
Ivan King .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Sound Department
George Burgess .... director of sound (as George E. Burgess)
L. Clark .... sound recordist
Gordon Hay .... boom operator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bert Mason .... camera operator
Terry Turtle .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Helga Cranston .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
London Symphony Orchestra .... music performed by
Muir Mathieson .... conductor
Eileen Joyce .... musician: piano, Ann Todd's performances (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

Actor James Mason: "This was Sydney Box's and Ann Todd's film. But director Compton Bennett and I also profited from its success. 'Welcome' mats were spread out for us in Hollywood."See more »
Continuity: When Francesca performs in her first concert, she is wearing a small cross necklace. When she faints at the end of the concert, the necklace has inexplicably disappeared in the close-ups of her on the stage floor.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Broadway Danny Rose (1984)See more »


What is narcosis?
Is "The Seventh Veil" based on a book?
What does "the seventh veil" mean?
See more »
28 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Seventh Veil Reveals Deep Seated Emotions on a Lighter Scale!, 15 August 2006
Author: PizazzPR from Charleston, SC, United States

My companions and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this classic movie last night! It came through as a compelling drama, from the premise to the finale. Contrary to the majority of reviews of this movie I've read so far via the internet sites, I found the movie quite enjoyable and thought provoking.

All nitpicking and analysis aside, it told a compelling story, albeit, in the genre of other stories or a universal theme, involving a over-possessive mentor and protégé--similar to the stories of the Phantom of the Opera or My Fair Lady (Pygmalion.)

But, so what? It got my attention. It was good story telling with compelling acting. It reeled me in, and I willingly went with the flow.

I think it should not be compared to our modern day standards of psychology, perhaps, or our understanding of what hypnosis does or doesn't provide for a patient. Maybe, we need to simply view it from the perspective of that era or day. Fit into the shoes of the moviegoer in the mid 1940s, instead.

Using back flashes, hypnosis to reveal the patient's (Francesca James) history, in order to unravel the reason for Francesca's "catatonic" state or phobic fear of playing piano, works well as a tool.

We experience the natural unraveling of the main characters plight through a compelling story about Francesca Cunningham (Ann Todd), a concert pianist's life so far, and how her past reveals the likely causes for her current mental state.

The austere scenes including the stately home of Nicholas, demonstrating wealth with no heart, the concert halls, are excellent settings for the interaction between the players and their characters. It all provided rich fodder for building their characters--though there was only time for quick studies in the movie.

The character of Francesca carried quite a heavy bag of deep rooted emotions--between her desire for music, for love with a man, her compulsion to stay put under the tutelage and power of Nicholas, her guardian (James Mason), intertwined or constricted by her ambivalent feelings and inner turmoil.

She appears to show an ambivalent, resistance to her guardian's obsessive or "stay or go" attitude, which ultimately leads to her breakdown and suicide attempt.

From the first days when Francesca, a fourteen year old young woman who is left as an orphan, arrives at his home, Nicholas thrusts her into his personal web or emotional prison--holding her hostage to his own desires for music and achievement. He drives her, unrelentingly and abusively, to achieve music excellence as a career, concert pianist.

It appears to be for her ultimate good, as he points out repeatedly over the years of her emotional captivity. Or we are led to consider that in fact, it is because of his own agenda as an embittered man and unfulfilled musician himself.

Against her will, in the beginning, Cousin Nicholas, forces or compels her to study and practice piano.She, therefore, studies for years under his "driven" and austere direction--avoiding relationships and normal activities. Her inner life is stunted.

Everything in her life appears to be based on her guardian's demands and the power he seems to have over her. She relinquishes all interest or desire to have a normal life, until she meets and is pursued and wooed by the character played by Peter Gay, an American musician living in England. He breaks through her barrier of shyness and austerity.

To some movie reviewers or critics, this may be a over the top, stylized or melodramatic film, but it is intense and there is a mood created by the sets.

We get the picture of her life with James Mason, Cousin Nicolas, who plays the part with his ever-present aloofness and sinister delivery. Ann Todd is fine. She doesn't reveal much through her dialogue, but looks can say a lot, as they say. The eyes have it.

The music is incredible, and after perusing the web, I finally discovered who was her double as the pianist, Eileen Joyce, who didn't get any credit in the film for her superb playing which made the film a winner. In any case, Ann Todd did a great job of faking it as the real pianist.

The cast of characters, including the Doctor, Herbert Lom, the portrait artist, the American musician, and of course, James Mason as the overly dominant and and cold-hearted, Nicholas, et al, do their parts in unwinding or weaving this tale.

In the end the Seventh Veil is not only lifted from Francesca, but also from Nicholas as her mentor, and subsequent savior of sorts. She returns to him as her trustee and real love. A little melodrama from British films in the 1940s never hurt anyone. It's fun also.

Frankly, if you enjoy classic films, and if you just want to enjoy the ambiance and storyline, and don't want to analyze too much, this is a fine film for an old fashioned, classic movie night at at home, along with friends. Curl up and enjoy. I highly recommend it.

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