Seven Sinners (1940) Poster

(1940)

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7/10
Island hopping
jotix1005 January 2008
Bijou Blanche, a sort of chanteuse, provoked a riot, literally, everywhere in which she appears. When we first see her, she is arriving by ship to a place she is not exactly welcomed, she goes to the Seven Sinners club, where its owner doesn't have too many fond memories of Bijou, but she is a woman who will bring a lot of business his way. Ms. Blanche has the right amounts of sophistication, beauty and elegance that proves to be disarming for the men lucky enough to get her attention.

Bijou, who has a two-man entourage, Little Ned, and Sasha, soon discovers the American Navy, which has a presence in the island. It takes little before most of the sailors discover the mysterious beauty who can belt a song as well as play pool like a pro. Lt. Dan Brent, also falls under her spell, in spite of being the unofficial escort for the daughter of the man in command.

There are enough tensions in the air as a sinister Anthro, who wants Bijou for himself enters the picture. Anthro is a man who knows how to throw a knife as Tony, the owner of the club, can attest. Bijou has the kind of reaction men seem to have whenever she is around. One of the most fun brawls occurs at the Seven Sinners, but at the end, Bijou has her way, as it's always the case.

Directed with his usual style by Tay Garnett, the new DVD copy has an excellent quality since it is part of a newly released package featuring films of John Wayne. The great Marlene Dietrich is Bijou, a woman who knows what makes men tick. She kept reminding us of Destry, in that in both films she played saloon entertainers. A young, handsome John Wayne is perfect opposite Ms. Dietrich. Their chemistry is right.

The pleasure of watching this movie is watching an interesting supporting cast full of familiar faces. Broderick Crawford and Misha Auer play Little Ned Finnegan and Sasha, who are devoted to Bijou. Oskar Homolka is perfectly menacing and gives the film another dimension in the mystery surrounding his persona. Billy Gilbert also puts an appearance as Tony, the owner of the joint.

Not seen often these days, "Seven Sinners" is worth a look because of the amazing cast and the fun everyone seemed to be having, and of course, Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne at their best.
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9/10
"Daddy, Buy Me That"
bkoganbing2 February 2006
After Marlene Dietrich at a new studio, Universal, had made something of a comeback in Destry Rides Again, the studio was understandably looking for new properties to follow it up.

They certainly got one in Seven Sinners, a really great blend of satirical comedy and drama. Certainly Dietrich is no poor man's Sadie Thompson. One wonders why she never did her own version of Rain. She pokes fun at that type of character, but there is a skillful blend of both drama and satire in this film.

Stagecoach was done the year before and with it John Wayne finally joined the list of A players. Director Tay Garnett had Wayne in mind for this film, but Dietrich would have the final approval. The story goes he deliberately arranged for Dietrich to have lunch at the studio commissary at a time Wayne would be there. She took one look at Wayne who reminded her so much of former lover Gary Cooper, she said to Garnett in that Dietrich baritone, "Daddy, buy me that."

This is Dietrich's film, but there's enough action to satisfy any Wayne fan. Tay Garnett assembled a good supporting cast with good girl Anna Lee, Dietrich retainers Mischa Auer and Broderick Crawford, befuddled owner of the Seven Sinners Cafe Billy Gilbert, and the very sinister Oscar Homolka.

Up until All the King's Men, the part that Broderick Crawford played here was a typical part, the dumb lug who's the hero/heroine's friend. He does it well, but Crawford resented the typecasting. He was quoted as saying that while he never considered himself the world's greatest wit, he did resent playing half a one all the time back in the day. This was Crawford's only film with Wayne and that's interesting because both of them were heavy boozers.

Dietrich like in Destry Rides Again has two good songs to sing written by fellow German expatriate Frederick Hollander and Frank Loesser, I've Been in Love Before and The Man's in the Navy. She also sings I Can't Give You Anything But Love, one of the great standards back in the day.

Seven Sinners is classic Marlene Dietrich one of her most enjoyable films and John Wayne fans will like it also.
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7/10
SEVEN SINNERS (Tay Garnett, 1940) ***
Bunuel19768 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Fond memories I had of watching this movie on Italian TV as a kid made me spring for the rather lackluster "John Wayne: An American Icon" 2-disc collection from Universal; the film itself reunites four actors (Marlene Dietrich, Mischa Auer, Billy Gilbert and Samuel S. Hinds) from Universal's successful Western comedy of the previous year – DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939).

Co-star John Wayne had just re-achieved stardom with John Ford's seminal STAGECOACH (1939) – the nine years following his impressive turn in Raoul Walsh's THE BIG TRAIL (1930) had mostly been spent in Grade Z Westerns; while he would eventually make this boisterous type of entertainment his own, he's likable enough but still somewhat stiff here. Dietrich, on the other hand, has a ball with her role of an exotic cabaret singer (she even does a number in full naval uniform, recalling her famous top hat 'n' tails routine ending in a lesbian clinch in Josef von Sternberg's MOROCCO [1930]) – who effortlessly turns the head of every man that crosses her path and, consequently, is the cause – or, should I say, prize? – of many a row (but which leads to her deportation from one Pacific island to the other).

Again, the supporting cast is marvelous – not just the three character actors I mentioned earlier (Auer is a pickpocket-cum-magician who tags along with Dietrich's Bijou, Hinds the stern Governor of the island, and Gilbert actually steals the show with his typically amiable flustered shtick as the boss of the titular café), but also Albert Dekker (a brief but very interesting role as a ship's doctor with whom Dietrich ends up – I dare say that the subtle relationship between them is more believable than the central one between her and Wayne!), Oscar Homolka (a mobster with pretenses to Dietrich's favors, he makes for a particularly strong villain), Broderick Crawford (who is terrific as a rough ex-sailor who purports to be Dietrich's bodyguard – however, his loyalty to the navy is even greater, and this brings about an unexpected dramatic scene towards the end where he nearly beats up Dietrich because she's disrupting naval officer Wayne's career chances!), Vince Barnett (amusing as the taciturn but resourceful bartender of the "Seven Sinners" whose recurring loud jeering at Homolka's expense could prove fatal at any moment), Reginald Denny (appearing all too briefly as Wayne's understanding superior officer) and Richard Carle (as the judge appointed to run Dietrich, Auer and Crawford out of town at the start of the picture – despite his owlish demeanor, he doesn't flinch from carrying out his duty when confronted with the wiles of the legendary femme fatale, the sleight-of-hand of the Russian émigré, or the uncouth manners of the seaman). As would also prove to be the case in their subsequent teamings – THE SPOILERS (1942) and PITTSBURGH (1942) – Wayne and Dietrich's romance is interrupted by his involvement with another woman of higher standing; here, it's Anna Lee in her American debut – and, even if the role doesn't amount to very much, the actress invests it with a quiet gracefulness that is typically British.

The film (which was remade in 1950 as SOUTH SEA SINNER) runs a bit thin on plot, but is kept on track most of the time by director Garnett – who made other ensemble pieces in exotic settings, namely CHINA SEAS (1935) and BATAAN (1943). It also benefits from expert shadowy lighting courtesy of the great Rudolph Mate', but the undeniable highlight of SEVEN SINNERS is the climactic bar-room brawl – which is really no less elaborate (or uproarious) than the one featured in DODGE CITY (1939), which is often singled out as the quintessence of this type of sequence.
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mainly for fans
notmicro14 March 2004
Its fun and spunky enough, but it has the schizophrenic feel of a "B" film with "A-list" actors. It was made by Universal, which had taken a chance the year before, and cast Dietrich in "Destry Rides Again" following her inclusion in the famous "box-office poison" list. Wayne was just transitioning from shoestring Republic Pictures; he had made zillions of minor films, and his career was just starting to take off. Dietrich often seems to be in a different film altogether; the way she looks and acts goes way above what the material calls for - she was always extremely conscious of her "look" and image. Her musical numbers are fun, especially the awesome nightclub number in Navy uniform drag - who else could pull THAT one off so successfully!
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Dietrich's glamour shines opposite a young John Wayne...
Doylenf20 June 2001
Both Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne are at their physical peak in 'Seven Sinners', a South Seas island romp that concludes with one of the most colorful barroom brawls in movie history. Dietrich is a Sadie Thompson kind of character, island hopping as she is deported from one tropical island to another--always attracting a bunch of attentive admirers with a knack for inciting riots. It's a film that's briskly entertaining from start to finish.

Dietrich has never been more appealing, gorgeously gowned and photographed to advantage whether appearing in skin-tight glittering gowns or sporting lacey parasols or wearing a sailor's uniform. She projects the same sort of character she played in 'Destry Rides Again'. John Wayne is young, handsome and earnest in one of his earlier roles. James Craig can be spotted briefly as an admiring ensign. Mischa Auer and Oscar Homolka have some colorful supporting roles, but the most enjoyable member of the cast is Billy Gilbert as the night club owner who sees trouble brewing the minute Dietrich shows up at his tavern.

Breezy entertainment with a couple of good songs done in the stylish Dietrich manner.
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5/10
Lots Of Big Names, But Just A 'Fair' Story
ccthemovieman-122 July 2006
This was a fair adventure story with some eccentric characters. For example:

Albert Dekker as "Dr. Martin, the musician; Broderick Crawford as "'Litle Ned' Finnegan," Marlene Dietrich's punch-happy protector, and Dietrich as 'Bijou Blanche," a cabaret singer bouncing from place to place.

Dietrich loved to play Cabaret singers and "Bijou Blanche" is a great name for her. She didn't look pretty in here, more grotesque with the super-thin eyebrows and tons of lipstick. She was definitely unappealing....and I like her, normally. Her "makeup" sins, if nothing else, made me dump this VHS.

Of note, John Wayne, Anna Lee, Mischa Auer, Billy Gilbert, Richard Carlson, Oscar Homolka, Reginald Denny and James Craig are all familiar names that add to the cast. Yet despite all the impressive names, I don't think it was that great. I wouldn't watch it again.
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10/10
Delicious satire of Sadie Thompson dramas
rfkeser28 November 1999
This rowdy South Seas romp is the high point of Marlene Dietrich's more user-friendly populist period: she plays "Bijou", a "singer" who gets deported from island after island because she innocently enflames both locals and sailors into brawling and destroying the nightclubs. Bijou values handsome guys, diamonds, and good friends, not to mention her wardrobe of feathers, flounces, silks, lace parasols, and even a sailor's uniform. As the object of Bijou's attention, John Wayne is at his freshest and most appealing, sheepishly bringing her armloads of orchids. The supporting cast is unusually deep: dense but loyal Broderick Crawford, sneaky Mischa Auer, menacing Oscar Homolka, perpetually befuddled Billy Gilbert, world-weary Albert Dekker, pretty Anna Lee. The lavish production includes sunny lighting and dynamic camera moves from Rudolph Mate. For once, director Tay Garnett gets it all right: the tropical atmosphere, the teasing romance, the broad comedy, the bittersweet edge [see Bijou's exchanges with the ship's doctor], plus four good musical numbers.
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10/10
Bijou and her men
theowinthrop2 February 2006
Declared "box office poison" in the middle 1930s with such inept film figures as Katherine Hepburn and Fred Astaire (one would like to know what happened to the idiot that wrote the advertisement about "box office poison" in later years - did he find nobody listened to his opinions anymore?), Marlene Dietrich made a comeback in the late 1930s with DESTRY RIDES AGAIN, cementing it with SEVEN SINNERS and FLAME OF NEW ORLEANS. She proved quite adept at performing without her old "Svengali" director Joe Von Sternberg pulling the strings. Her stardom would survive intact until her retirement in the 1960s. Box office poison indeed!

Had Von Sternberg directed instead of Tay Garnett SEVEN SINNERS would have been somewhat like THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN. Concha, the heroine in THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN goes from man to man for her own benefit, not caring for any evil results that befall these men (in fact, she only seems to change at the end when she senses that she has lost Lionel Atwill's affections for good - it is a new experience and she is not crazy about it). Bijou is willing to use her sexual allure too, but unlike Concha she is not in control of the situation constantly. Concha rules the roost of the provincial town society she resides in (witness how she basically controls the Mayor of the town (Edward Everett Horton) about the matter of the duel between Atwill and Cesar Romero). Bijou finds she is not in control of the officials of the south sea islands she is living in. She is a notorious character, and can be thrown off islands at will.

Yet she does fascinate or control a good number of men - most notably John Wayne, a U.S. Navy officer who risks his career and future social marriage to Ann Lee for her. There are also Broderick Crawford and Mischa Auer, her two raffish protectors (Crawford a naval deserter and Auer a swindler and magician). There is her former employer Billy Gilbert, who rehires her despite misgivings (more about that later), and - most sinisterly, Oscar Homolka - a knife wielding criminal mob boss.

Homolka is ultimately quite a dangerous and bad guy, but he does have one running joke with Vince Barnett, the bartender at Gilbert's cafe. Barnett is a quiet, timid character of few words, but he does appreciate a joke. Every now and then Homolka makes some really nasty joke about what he'd do to Wayne or anyone else standing between him and Dietrich. Barnett starts laughing along with Homolka at the jokes, and at first Homolka is appreciating his own sense of humor to notice - then he does notice, and it makes him less happy. He's not there to entertain this idiot bartender. So each time he ends Barnett's laughing by throwing a stiletto next to his head. And Barnett does shut up...until the next time.

There is also one other - an exception to the rule of the manipulatable men in her life: Albert Dekker. Dekker was starting his interesting film career at this time. He had first gained notoriety playing Baron Geiger in the original stage version of Vicki Baum's GRAND HOTEL. Dekker was "Albert Van Dekker" when he essayed the role (opposite Sig Ruman as Preysling). Both were noted as first rate performers in the drama, but neither was brought to Hollywood for the film (John Barrymore and Wallace Beery playing the two roles in the movie). Ruman got the Hollywood nod first, but by 1939 Dekker was in Hollywood too. He soon was given some interesting parts - the twin brothers in AMONG THE LIVING and the evil scientist in DR. CYCLOPS being the best known.

His performance as the ship doctor in SEVEN SINNERS is interesting. He and Bijou hit it off, but he is not ready for commitment when the ship docks, but they part amicably. As a result, when the film ends and Bijou again is on board the ship, Dekker is available to replace Wayne as her permanent lover. It's a situation (by the way) that never reappears in any other Dietrich film: she usually ends with the hero, or ends alone.

The other men are besotted regarding Bijou, and it eventually leads to the final battle (nearly to the death) between Wayne and Homolka. But the most interesting (to me) is Gilbert. A hard working, and flustered, businessman - his role seems typical for Gilbert. He is forced to do things he knows are illegal or dangerous for Bijou because he does like her. But in the end, surprisingly, she shows she really cares for him too. Gilbert rarely had a dramatic moment in his films (he was such a good comic actor, nobody thought of him in dramatic parts). Here he is accidentally stabbed when the homicidal Homolka was aiming at Wayne in the final fight. Critically stabbed in his back, Gilbert is under a table when Dietrich comes over to him, and starts taking care of him and comforting him until the doctors can come. It too is a rather unusual moment for Dietrich, and one is glad that it was brought out in this fine movie.
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6/10
OK
smatysia13 September 2002
An OK Marlene Dietrich film. I didn't find her as beautiful and talented as a lot of others must have. John Wayne looks very young and earnest. It was interesting to see Broderick Crawford in a role like this. But, again, this film was just OK. Grade: C-
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6/10
trivial fun
MartinHafer23 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, this is far from the best film either John Wayne or Marlena Dietraich ever did. Sure, it's very silly and cartoon-like at times (especially due to the supporting performances by Billy Gilbert, Mischa Auer and Broderick Crawford), but still it does manage to entertain. Dopey fun? Sure, you betcha.

John Wayne was young and quite dashing in the film and I could certainly see how this movie helped his career. Marlena Dietrich plays pretty much the same type character she played in films such as DESTRY RIDES AGAIN or THE SPOILERS--you know, the worldly lady with the "heart of gold". This movie is a little different from her others because she seems to sing MORE than ever. Some will like this, but I don't particularly care for this. In fact, I have never liked the films of Dietrich as I always found her WAY too unreal-looking and I thought it was silly how men act when they see her in movies (sort of like the way guys acts when they see a "swell dame" in a Tex Avery cartoon). Oh, well,...I guess it was just something peculiar about the 30s and 40s.

Apart from a decent performance by Wayne and some cute, but slight, comedic support, the movie is only about average. It's not as good as the other two films mentioned in this review but it's an agreeable time-passer. Fun but forgettable.

PS--Although I am not exactly an expert on naval ships, Wayne's ship changes significantly (it's obviously 2 different ships)--one is a WWI vintage one with old-fashioned towers while the other is very modern for the time. A true naval expert might even be able to figure out if they are even different types of ships (like a cruiser and a battleship)--but I KNOW they are NOT the same boat. Not a major mistake but one you way want to look for if you see the film.
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9/10
that Dietrich look....
armandcbris14 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen this film a number of times on late-night TV, and quite enjoyed it, especially Marlene Dietrich. Go figure.

The story is all fun...kind of a South Seas version of "Destry Rides Again"....mixed moments of comedy and drama.

But the scene that gets me, and literally makes me always want to watch this film over and over again, is the one scene where Dietrich and Wayne are flirting with one another somewhere outside her home, and Dietrich is just looking at Wayne with a "oh yeah, we're gonna hook up tonight" look (for want of a better term) that would make any sane man melt. She's also so beautifully lit up and photographed, and the light in her eyes glowing with desire....sigh. It comes across as such a genuinely captured moment of desire on film, that it makes you wish you were in the Duke's shoes at that moment (he does indeed look happy to be there himself). Considering there are reports they in fact had an affair and spent time together around and after the making of this film, you can easily imagine and believe that it is indeed just that.
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8/10
Marlene and Billy Gilbert, especially, make this memorable.
weezeralfalfa2 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The opening scene has a bunch of guys in a South Seas cabaret go berserk, hitting each other and tearing up the furnishings. We don't see nor hear Marlene, but it's clear she just finished singing. Unfortunately, this is a standard response of men to Marlene(as Bijou). So why she has been banned from city after city in Indonesia and the South Seas. She brings in business to cabarets, but not enough to replace the destroyed furnishings or reputation of the establishment. Move over Sinatra. Even his bobby soxers weren't this ecstatic. At nearly 40y.o., Marlene looks and acts amazing. And those big soulful eyes. If you are typically bewitched by Marlene's typical screen persona, you should not be disappointed by her performance here.

Marlene has tall, broad-shouldered, handsome, John Wayne to romance her on occasion, but it's decided that marriage to her would probably destroy his naval career. Thus, in the finale, they are shown going their separate ways: a bittersweet conclusion to a love affair. Wayne is a lieutenant in the US navy. Just what a US naval vessel is doing exploring Indonesia's many islands isn't pursued. In any case, in Wayne's first encounter with Marlene, he hugs her as he lifts her from the ship to the wharf. By the look on her face, she's quite agreeable to this treatment. This sets the stage for more romantic encounters between the two. Later, Wayne initiates a mega-barroom brawl between two groups, in which the room is totally destroyed, with men leaping around the room. It's mean to be largely a comical performance. This is the action climax of the film.

If you like Billy Gilbert's extreme brand of wild befuddled humor, you will find plenty of it here, especially in the first half. He plays the proprietor of the 7 sinners cabaret, which was torn up the last time Marlene performed there. Hence, he's not anxious for a repeat performance. Nonetheless, he is bullied into allowing her to perform there. She sings several songs penned by the combination of Friedrich Hollaender and frank Loesser: "I've Been in Love Before", and "The Man's in the Navy". But, her most memorable performance is the classic from the '20s: "I Can't Give You Anything but Love", composed by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields.

Besides Billy Gilbert, and the climactic brawl, humor is sprinkled here and there. For example, a man grabs Marlene's arm roughly. She presses her lite cigarette into his hand, and he immediately releases her.

A young Broderick Crawford, as Finnegan, serves as Marlene's voluntary protector, providing a bit of comedy here and there, as does Mischa Auer, as his companion magician and kleptomaniac. In a comical scene, Marlene holds up various items stolen by Auer, one by one, to a group of men, asking who they belong to. The men are embarrassed that these were stolen without their knowledge.

This film is presently available at YouTube.
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5/10
She's as true to the navy as they are to her.
mark.waltz14 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I'm "Falling in Love Again" with Marlene Dietrich, focusing on her three films with "the duke", John Wayne. They were made during his rise to box office success after "Stagecoach" and her attempt to get over the stigma of being named box office poison the year before after ending her long association with Joseph Von Sternberg. She scored a huge hit with "Destry Rides Again" as the glamorous Frenchie, and now she's gone from the wild west to the south seas as the glamorously dressed Bijou, a notorious character kicked off island after island, and protected by a group of devoted groupies, among them Broderick Crawford and Mischa Auer. Settling back on an island with a new governor, she is reunited with old boss Billy Gilbert and sets her romantic sights on naval officer John Wayne who's already escorting around the governor's daughter, Anna Lee.

Exotic sets, a few songs, amusing dialog and a camp story makes this fun viewing for the fans of Dietrich and the Duke. Ms. Lee, of "General Hospital" fame, offers a unique contrary persona to Dietrich's. Marlene gets to sing the standard, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" as well as a catchy naval song. She's dressed to the nines, full of mischief and pretty much the reason for tuning in, although with that supporting cast, there's amusement every step of the ride. Wayne basically phones in his performance, with nothing much to do but provide romantic support to the dynamic leading lady until confronting the villain (Oscar Homolka) at the end in a fight sequence that would be repeated in his next two outings with Dietrich as well, "The Spoilers" and "Pittsburgh".

There's a pre-story where she charges her way through into the office of a delusioned ship's doctor (Albert Dekker) who falls for her instantly but must go on to his next destination, leaving Dietrich free to roam around her old stomping grounds until she gets into more trouble. The fight at the end is gloriously filmed with the camera often sped up, some humor thrown in and a shocking bit of violence that was never resolved. However, Dietrich seems to be having the best time in making this, and a few subtle references indicate that the story was influenced by some of her earlier works. Vince Barnett is very funny as a bartender who keeps changing his coat in order to avoid being hit when the final fight breaks out.
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6/10
On the eve of World War Two, a Fraulein named . . .
oscaralbert17 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . Marlene Dietrich frequently wormed her way onto the Hollywood Big Screen, cavorting blatantly in the forefront of Hitler's Fifth Columnist Gang out to undermine American Values and corrupt Yankee heroes such as rising USAF Gen. James Stewart (in DESTRY RIDES AGAIN) and future USMC water-boy John Wayne, here in SEVEN SINNERS. In this latter flick, Dietrich island-hops--foreshadowing German ally Japan's Real Life Campaign of Terror the following year--bringing loose morals, violence, and destruction to each community in which she sets foot and wiggles her can. Aided by an American Rich People's Party riddled with Nazi Sympathizers (politely referred to in the day as "Isolationists" or "Appeasers") allowing U.S. film censors to turn a blind eye upon her wily shenanigans, Dietrich batted about .500 in persuading able-bodied "Role Models" to plead "4F" (such as Wayne--and remember, VD was NOT accepted as a legitimate grounds for military deferment at this time), while failing to dissuade others--even card-carrying ARPP members such as Stewart--from eventually dropping bombs on Berlin. Even today, when you watch DESTRY, you can see Stewart holding his own against Dietrich's wiles on behalf of her Fuhrer. On the other hand, Wayne is a tongue-tied puppy around Mistress Marlene throughout SINNERS. This is no surprise, as in the movie his role calls for him to ALMOST give up serving in the U.S. Navy, as he ALMOST gets it on with Dietrich. In Real Life, of course, John DID do the deed with this notorious Femme Fatale, and subsequently ducked out of WWII.
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6/10
"A" Picture Cast..."B" Picture Plot!
bsmith555223 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Seven Sinners" was the first of three films starring Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne. This one is all Dietrich and a must for all of her fans.

Dietrich plays Bijou Blanche a "saloon singer" who has been deported from several Indonesian Islands as an undesirable. She is followed around by her "friends", the buffoonish Little Ned Finnigan (Broderick Crawford) and pick pocket Sasha (Mischa Auer). Bijou learns that a new Governor has been installed on the island of Sumatra (I think) and sets sail for there. On board the ship she is befriended by a down and out doctor named Dr. Martin (Albert Dekker).

Anyway, Bijou and friends land and head for the Seven Sinners cafe run by Tony (Billy Gilbert) to seek work. The Seven Sinners is frequented by several US naval officers, one of whom is the dashing Lt; Dan Brent (Wayne). However, Dorothy Henderson (Anna Lee), the daughter of the governor (Samuel S. Hinds) also has designs on him.

An apparent Nazi spy, Antro (Oskar Homolka) has had a past with Bijou. She falls for Brent and hears from his men that he will ask her to marry him. The Governor steps in and asks Brent's ship's Captain Church (Reginald Denny) to appeal to his sense of duty. We all know that the saloon girl with the heart of gold has little chance of landing the clean cut hero but................................

The legendary Dietrich sings several forgettable songs in her inimitable style, which for many is the highlight of the film. For me it was the knock down drag out saloon brawl which was excellently staged.

As I have said before, this film is all Dietrich. Once again playing the femme fatale she is as glamorous as ever. Wayne, just emerging as a major star plays second fiddle to La Dietrich in this one. Broderick Crawford spends most of the picture running around yelling "gangway, gangway". There is far too much comic relief as well. We have Crawford, Auer, Gilbert and Vince Barnett as the bartender. Its also hard to take seriously the "all in white" bad guys led by Homolka, who participate in the the aforementioned brawl.

"B" picture plot and characters with an "A" list (for the most part) cast. "The Spoilers" and "Pittsburgh" were much better Dietrich/Wayne vehicles.
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6/10
Underpar John Wayne movie from 1940.
vitaleralphlouis15 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Somewhat outdated after 70 years, SEVEN SINNERS is not so much a John Wayne movie as it is a Marlene Dietrich movie. She is the top-billed star, and John Wayne has little to do except looking handsome in his Navy uniform and getting involved in a spectacular saloon fight.

ANY John Wayne movie is a bona fide classic simply because Wayne is in the film. This one was re-issued to theaters and still has box office life in it via the recent DVD release. Universal has paired it with a much superior Wayne movie in stunning 3-strip Technicolor -- Shepherd of the Hills (about the moonshine business). Buy or rent it; you can't go wrong.
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