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The Seventh Sin (1957)

| Drama | 1958 (Argentina)
In post-WWII Hong Kong, unhappily married Carol has an affair with a married man. Her husband discovers it and presents her with a choice: travel with him to a remote mainland village or face the scandal of a very public divorce.

Directors:

Ronald Neame, Vincente Minnelli (uncredited)

Writers:

Karl Tunberg (screenplay), W. Somerset Maugham (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Eleanor Parker ... Carolyn Carwin
Bill Travers ... Walter Carwin
George Sanders ... Tim Waddington
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... Paul Duvel
Françoise Rosay ... Mother Superior (as Francoise Rosay)
Ellen Corby ... Sister Saint Joseph
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Storyline

1949 Hong Kong. Married to other people, American Carolyn Carwin and French shipping executive Paul Duvel are having an affair. Carolyn admits that she never loved or has even really got to know her British medical doctor turned bacteriologist husband Walter Carwin, she having accepted his marriage proposal solely to stoke what was her damaged ego at the time. Walter, in turn, has always loved Carolyn despite being aware of her vanity and general narcissism. Carolyn suspects that Walter knows about the affair, a suspicion that is ultimately confirmed when he confronts her about it. In an ultimatum by Walter concerning the infidelity, Carolyn feels she has no other option but to agree to move to rural May Tan Fu on the Chinese mainland with him, there where a cholera outbreak has occurred. She has no desire to live in a remote backwater, let alone one where disease is running rampant. The health crisis, to which Walter feels his background is well suited in assisting, is something on ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Any Sin But This One Could Be Forgiven!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

1958 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Hongkong war ihr Schicksal See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Ronald Neame felt star Eleanor Parker was wrong for the part and consequently the actress was unhappy. Neame was fired by MGM ad replaced with Vincente Minelli although he refused to take any credit. As he was packing, Neame was very grateful for a sympathetic call he received from George Cukor, who told the director that he was fired from "Gone with the Wind" but was sure Neame would bounce back too. See more »

Goofs

While the picture takes place between 1949-1950 in mainland China (see the Republic flag in the hospital), the clothes (dresses, shoes and hairdo) that Eleanor Parker wears are contemporary to when the picture was made in the mid-1950s. See more »

Quotes

Tim Waddington: [watching her take some salad] Dear girl, you can't eat salad. Uncooked greens are dangerous at any time. But now it's practically sure death, isn't that right, Doctor?
Doctor Walter Carwin: Yes.
Carol Carwin: I thought that was the general idea.
Doctor Walter Carwin: My wife likes salad. So do I.
[he puts some on his plate]
Tim Waddington: I say, what's going on between you two? I know that it's very bad form to ask, but what is this - a suicide pact?
Doctor Walter Carwin: Don't be so melodramatic, Mr Waddington. After all, we've both been inoculated.
Tim Waddington: Yes, well, Watson was inoculated. I'll...
[...]
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Connections

Remade as The Painted Veil (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
remaking of The Painted Veil
27 August 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The Seventh Sin" from 1957 stars Eleanor Parker, Bill Travers, George Sanders, Jean-Pierre Aumont, and Francoise Rosay.

Parker plays Carolyn Carwin, living in postwar Hong Kong with her husband, Dr. Walter Corwin (Travers) but is having an affair with Paul (Aumont). She never really loved her husband - she used him to get away from her family - but he has always loved her. For reasons known only to herself, she finds him physically repulsive. Bill Travers? That was the first dumb thing.

Walter is going into a remote village to fight the cholera epidemic. He gives Carolyn a choice - she can accompany him or he will cause a huge scandal in the divorce. Then he suggests a third option - if Paul will divorce his wife and marry her immediately, he won't give her any trouble. He knows full well that Paul won't divorce his wife and is proved correct. The two leave for the village.

Once there, they meet Tim Waddington (Sanders) who picks up on their marital problems. Gradually Carolyn becomes aware of her husband's dedication to his work and her own selfishness and narcissism.

Previous versions of The Painted Veil take place in an earlier time, and the trip to the village is harrowing. It becomes obvious that Walter hopes his wife dies, or he doesn't care, and he certainly doesn't care if she contracts cholera when they arrive. Post- WWII, they don't have a bad time of it travel-wise.

Parker is beautiful as the imperious Carolyn, who finds the village a growing experience, and Sanders cast against type is a real bright spot, giving a wonderful performance. There are nice scenes between Carolyn and the nun at the orphanage (Rosay) who understands Carolyn better than she thinks. Travers is sympathetic as the hard-working doctor who only wanted to love his wife and have her love him.

The Maugham story of The Painted Veil is a strong one, but it's hard for this version to compete with either version, the 1934 with Greta Garbo or the 2006 with its brilliant cinematography. Though it's not as good, it is still absorbing. I haven't read the story, so I'm not sure what the original ending is - all three versions have different endings.


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