7.0/10
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22 user 22 critic

The House of the Seven Gables (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 12 April 1940 (USA)
Based on the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this classic film follows a family feud between two brothers and an ancient curse that haunts them.

Director:

Joe May

Writers:

Lester Cole (screen play), Harold Greene (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Sanders ... Jaffrey Pyncheon
Margaret Lindsay ... Hepzibah Pyncheon
Vincent Price ... Clifford Pyncheon
Dick Foran ... Matthew Holgrave
Nan Grey ... Phoebe Pyncheon
Cecil Kellaway ... Philip Barton
Alan Napier ... Fuller
Gilbert Emery ... Gerald Pyncheon
Miles Mander ... Deacon Foster
Charles Trowbridge ... Judge
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

quill pen | trees | well | sign | dress | See All (110) »

Taglines:

AN ANCIENT HOUSE! A MURDER SECRET! A HIDDEN TREASURE! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vincent Price portrayed the role of Gerald Pyncheon in the anthology Twice-Told Tales (1963) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vincent Price: Renaissance Man (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

THE COLOR OF YOUR EYES
(1940)
Music by Frank Skinner
Lyrics by Ralph Freed
Sung by Vincent Price (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
An exceptional "little" movie
14 December 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This movie was made with a modest budget and was never intended as an "A-movie", though it had a bit higher production values and was a bit too long to be a true "B-movie" (i.e., the second and much cheaper film in a double-feature). With these modest expectations as well as some great but underrated actors, this film really delivers. You see, this film starred second-tier actors such as Vincent Price was a practically unknown and inexperienced actor as well as George Sanders who had been a supporting actor or B-movie leading man. Margaret Lindsay was probably the biggest name star in the film, though her career had seen better days in the 1930s. As a result of this and a very modest budget, none of the Universal Studios execs at the time suspected this would be one of their best films of the year. In fact, dollar-for-dollar, this film is one of the best films I have seen. Sure, it isn't GONE WITH THE WIND or THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, but these films had very large budgets and the best writers/directors/producers and of course they had to be great films.

Sanders and Price play brothers--Sanders is the money-grubbing amoral one and Price is the basically decent man who is framed by Sanders for murder. The plot is pretty complex and I don't want to spoil the suspense by explaining it further, but trust me the plot is exceptional--especially when it comes to irony. The ending is just terrific and drips with poetic justice.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House of the Seven Gables See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$178,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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