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The House of the Seven Hawks (1959)

Not Rated | | Mystery | 4 April 1960 (Sweden)
The film follows an American captain searching for sunken treasure who becomes entangled with criminals and is arrested by the Dutch police.


Richard Thorpe


Victor Canning (novel), Jo Eisinger




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... John Nordley
Nicole Maurey ... Constanta Sluiter
Linda Christian ... Elsa
Donald Wolfit ... Inspector Van Der Stoor
David Kossoff ... Wilhelm Dekker
Eric Pohlmann ... Captain Rohner
Philo Hauser Philo Hauser ... Charlie Ponz
Gerard Heinz ... Inspector Sluiter
Paul Hardtmuth Paul Hardtmuth ... Beukleman
Lily Kann Lily Kann ... Gerta
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ... Police Sgt. Straatman
Andre Van Gyseghem Andre Van Gyseghem ... Hotel Clerk
Leslie Weston Leslie Weston ... Tulper
Guy Deghy ... Desk Lieutenant
Peter Welch ... Gannett


American John Nordley captains The Aloha, a sailboat currently moored in the Port of Baymouth, England, the boat on which he lives and conducts private charters. He often bends the British laws by taking the boat to other countries not listed in his manifest, something that Captain Gannett with the Port Authority warns him may revoke his license. That's why Nordley is reluctant to abide the request of his latest customer, Mr. Anselm, who chartered the boat for a one week sail on the east side of the British Isles, but who makes a request, once on board, to sail to Maasvlakte, Holland, and despite the request being "under the table" he assuring Nordley not for anything illegal. But the request indirectly does get Nordley in potential trouble with the authorities, namely The Hague police, in the process of learning that Anselm isn't quite who he purported to be. With he detained in Holland and his boat temporarily seized by The Hague police in they unsure of his connection to Anselm, ... Written by Huggo

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No Dutch Treat
5 February 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The year before this film came out Robert Taylor's long term contract came to an end with MGM. His was the longest contract to a studio in film history. There was a clause in his release which gave MGM the option for two more films. With The House Of The Seven Hawks, Taylor did the first of his two films to fulfill that commitment.

It was a film like The House Of The Seven Hawks that probably made Robert Taylor think about television as a venue. It's a routine mystery adventure film that would have been done years earlier by MGM's B picture unit.

The House Of The Seven Hawks casts Taylor as an American expatriate running a charter schooner service over in Great Britain. A man charters Taylor's boat and asks him to take him to the Netherlands. On the way the man collapses and dies and upon identifying him through his ID as a Dutch police inspector, Taylor feels he's stepped in a nice bucket of fertilizer. Especially since he had no clearance to leave English waters.

Now the film would have been over if Taylor had simply left things untouched, but did his duty as a citizen and just reported the death. But no, he finds some cryptic directions taped to the dead man's abdomen and thinks there might be something in it for him. That got him into even a bigger mess involving a gang of former Nazis and a pair of beautiful women.

The villains in this film are taken right out of the Maltese Falcon with Eric Pohlman and David Kossoff doing their best as a pair of continental Greenstreet and Lorres. As for beautiful woman number one, Linda Christian is a gal working her own agenda the same way Mary Astor was doing. There are some elements in the story line that could have come from The Maltese Falcon.

Beautiful woman number two is Nicole Maurey, daughter of the dead police inspector who thinks Taylor might have done her father in for a while. Donald Wolfit is the Dutch police inspector who takes the case over from Nicole's dad and keeps a close tab on Taylor.

Stealing every scene he's in is professional informer Philo Hauser who makes a living at the art of the doublecross.

MGM did not even bother to invest The House Of The Seven Hawks with color cinematography. Certainly that would have captured some nice Dutch countryside.

The film was the sixth of seven films Robert Taylor did for director Richard Thorpe and the last one for they did for MGM. Seven films with the same director might normally qualify them as a screen team. Thorpe did three of Taylor's best heroic films, Ivanhoe, Knights Of The Round Table, and Quentin Durward. He also did from Taylor's halcyon days at MGM, The Crowd Roars and Tip On A Dead Jockey. They would team up again for Killers of Kilimanjaro, Taylor's next film which was released by Columbia. My guess is that Thorpe and Taylor were a compatible pair and that's why MGM assigned him Taylor's pictures.

Not even Robert Taylor's devoted fans would say this was one of his best roles. MGM was simply trying to work out a commitment and didn't invest much in The House Of The Seven Hawks. I'll bet the inducement of shooting in Europe and maybe taking along Ursula Thiess to visit her family on the continent was reason enough to do this film. And Taylor never balked too much at doing anything.

A European trip was a good enough reason for accepting any film offer. Still The House Of The Seven Hawks will never be ranked by anyone as one of Robert Taylor's top ten.

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English | Dutch | French

Release Date:

4 April 1960 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The House of the Seven Flies See more »

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Coronado Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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