6.6/10
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10 user 6 critic

Seven Footprints to Satan (1929)

A young man of society wants to make an expedition to Africa, but his fiancée asks him for help about one of her fathers guests shortly before his planed departure. Her suspects about that ... See full summary »

Writers:

Abraham Merritt (from the novel by), Benjamin Christensen (story) (as Richard Bee) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Thelma Todd ... Eve Martin
Creighton Hale ... James Kirkham
Sheldon Lewis ... The Spider
William V. Mong ... The Professor
Sôjin Kamiyama ... Sojin (as Sojin)
Laska Winter ... Satan's Mistress
Ivan Christy ... Jim's Valet
DeWitt Jennings ... Uncle Joe
Nora Cecil ... Old Witch
Kalla Pasha Kalla Pasha ... Prof. von Viede
Harry Tenbrook ... Eve's Chauffeur
Cissy Fitzgerald ... Old Lady at Party
Angelo Rossitto ... The Dwarf
Thelma McNeil ... Tall Girl
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Inez Marion Inez Marion ... Maiden
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Storyline

A young man of society wants to make an expedition to Africa, but his fiancée asks him for help about one of her fathers guests shortly before his planed departure. Her suspects about that guest were serious, this man tries to steal one of her fathers rubin, and she and her fiance are kidnapped and brought to a house, where strange things happen. The whole thing becomes a nightmare under the direction of a mysterious Mr. Satan. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See a hideous creature called "The spider"; a dog-faced professor, a queer dwarf; a witch and a savage gorilla chasing two lovable lovers through chambers of horrors in Satan's playground! (Print Ad- Janesville Daily Gazette, ((Janesville, Wisc.)) 26 February 1929) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only currently available version is silent, with Italian intertitles. See more »

Alternate Versions

Released as both a silent and a part-talkie. See more »

User Reviews

 
Once thought lost, this film lives up to its reputation
31 July 2005 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

A young man longing for adventure end up in the middle of a robbery and trapped in castle like home where some very strange people are wandering about. It all builds as all the "old dark house" conventions are played up to the max before it ends in a manner that is both logically right and completely wrong. I dare not say anything else since this is such fun to watch.

Benjamin Christensen's Seven Footprints to Satan was thought lost for years. During that time it gained a reputation as one of the great films. Thankfully the re-emergence of an Italian titled print proves that Christensen had indeed made what is probably one of the greatest "old dark house" thrillers ever made.

This movie is a blast. There are hooded villains, sliding panels, dwarfs,half humans, gorillas, weirdly shaped people and a sense of fun lacking from many movies of this type. Its a damn near perfect blueprint of how to make a movie like this. The film is also an absolute masterpiece of the directors art. I've never/rarely seen a film that is such a marriage of image and story with camera moves that pure genius. This is a film to study if you want to see how to make a movie.

The movie as it stands has two problems. First the title cards are in Italian, which makes watching it difficult if you don't read the language. I don't. Only after reading a synopsis of the entire plot was I able to really enjoy the madness that was going on on screen. The other problem is that this film is silent. I had always thought it was purely a silent film, however the entries on IMDb and my watching of the film make me think that perhaps part of this was indeed sound. There are sequences that contain a great deal of on screen talking and very little titling which lead me to think there once was more to this film than there is now.

See this movie. This is a masterpiece. Its also a lot of fun.

Now if someone like Criterion or Kino could get their hands on this and set about restoring it we'd all be so much richer.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1929 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Satan's Stairwell See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone) (talking sequences, musical score, sound effects)| Silent (alternate version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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