6.8/10
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29 user 18 critic

7 Women (1966)

Passed | | Drama | 7 January 1966 (USA)
In China in 1935, seven dedicated missionary women try to protect themselves from the advances of a barbaric Mongolian warlord and his cut-throat gang of warriors.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Janet Green (screenplay), John McCormick (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Bancroft ... Dr. D.R. Cartwright
Sue Lyon ... Emma Clark
Margaret Leighton ... Agatha Andrews
Flora Robson ... Miss Binns
Mildred Dunnock ... Jane Argent
Betty Field ... Florrie Pether
Anna Lee ... Mrs. Russell
Eddie Albert ... Charles Pether
Mike Mazurki ... Tunga Khan
Woody Strode ... Lean Warrior
Jane Chang Jane Chang ... Miss Ling
Hans William Lee Hans William Lee ... Kim
H.W. Gim H.W. Gim ... Coolie
Irene Tsu ... Chinese Girl
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Storyline

In a mission in China in 1935, Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton) is a rigid missionary beset by Mongolian bandits led by Warlord chief Tunga Khan (Mike Mazurki). With her are her assistant Jane Argent (Mildred Dunnock), staff members Emma Clark (Sue Lyon), Mrs. Russell (Anna Lee), and Miss Binns (Dame Flora Robson), head of the British mission, Charles Pether (Eddie Albert), a teacher at the mission and his pregnant wife Florrie (Betty Field). When Dr. D.R. Cartwright (Anne Bancroft) arrives, she agrees to sacrifice herself to Tunga Khan in exchange for his letting the ladies go free. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seven who defied what no man dared, each for a reason that was hers alone! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally titled "Chinese Finale" according to an MGM 40th Anniversary short; this is the title of the short story on which the film is based. See more »

Goofs

The hairstyle of Dr. Cartwright is a 1960s fashion that is out of place in 1935. See more »

Quotes

Dr. D.R. Cartwright: Normal? What the hell is so normal about my life? It took me eight years to become a doctor; I gave everything up to study. And for what? Anything I could get. There are no tough jobs for women doctors. I couldn't even open a decent office; I had to sweat it out in the worst hospitals. And when I finally gave myself a little time, for a little love, I wound up pickin' the wrong guy. What do ya think of that, Binnsy? Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. But for keeps he preferred his wife.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Jesus Loves Me
(uncredited)
Words by Anna B. Warner and David Rutherford McGuire
Music by William B. Bradbury
Sung by Sue Lyon and the children
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User Reviews

Ford's Final Film
6 September 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

7 Women (1966)

*** (out of 4)

John Ford's final film is one you really wouldn't expect to see from him but I guess it goes to show what a great director he was as he could end his nearly fifty-year career with something fresh and original. The film takes place in 1935 China as a free-wheeling and free-spirited doctor (Anne Bancroft) comes to work at a missionary where she immediately clashes with the head of the mission (Margaret Leighton). The head doesn't agree with the doctor's way of life, which includes smoking, drinking, profane language and of course not believing in God. Soon the doctor is battling this but then a plague breaks out in the mission and then they come under attack from some rebels. I'm not sure if stunned is too strong of a word but that's what my feelings were going through this film. I've seen at least fifty John Ford movies and I never thought I'd see something like this one. The attitude of the Bancroft character just seems like something the director would stay away from and the anti-religion stance was so strong that again I couldn't believe this was something from Ford. I think if you showed this movie to the biggest of film buffs and didn't tell them who the director was I doubt they'd ever guess it was someone like Ford. I really appreciated the 60s fling thrown into the picture because you can obviously tell that they were taking a 60s woman and putting her into this situation. There's a bit about the doctor leaving America because a woman couldn't get a fair shake at a good career and again I wonder if they were standing up for women's rights. The film also has bits of lesbianism, the religious hypocrites and a strong sense of sexuality. The movie certainly isn't ahead of its time considering this was 1966 but it's still impressive stuff. Bancroft is downright marvelous here and turns in a very memorable performance. I must admit that I fell in love with her character as you have to respect the toughness that the actress brings to the role. I believed every second of it and there's just a certain fire to Bancroft that clearly shows up on the screen. Leighton is one of those love-to-hate performances and makes for a great villain. Sue Lyon, best known from Kubrick's LOLITA, turns in a fine performance. We even get Woody Strode in a small role as one of the warriors. The film's pacing is a very slow one and it feels like the movie is a lot longer than its 86-minute running time but this isn't a negative thing as I never got bored. I was certainly surprised to see how much Ford managed to cram into the short running time. His direction here contains some of his softest touches but they all work. It's a shame this movie isn't mentioned more when people discuss his career but it's certainly a good and original way for him to go out.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

7 January 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chinese Finale See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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