Seventh Heaven (1937)

100 or 102 mins | Romance | 26 March 1937

Director:

Henry King

Writer:

Melville Baker

Cinematographer:

Merritt Gerstad

Editor:

Barbara McLean

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to a LAEx news item, Tyrone Power, who had been considered for the part of Chico, was instead put into the film Love Is News by producer Darryl Zanuck because Zanuck wanted to feature him in light, romantic comedies (see above). According to a HR news item, Don Ameche was slated to play "Father Chevillon," but could not because he was also cast in Love Is News . The part was then assigned to John Carradine, but was finally given to Jean Hersholt. HR also reported that photographer Merritt Gerstad was borrowed from Universal and that John Harrington was to be included in the cast, although his participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. A 13 Sep 1937 HR news item reported that the song "Seventh Heaven," written by Lew Pollack and Sidney Mitchell, was "under consideration to be the official theme song for the New York's World Fair in 1939." Austin Strong's play was first produced as a film in 1927 by Fox. Frank Borzage directed Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in the immensely popular earlier version of Seventh Heaven , for which Borzage won an Academy Award for Best Director, and Gaynor won an Academy Award for Best Actress (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.4926). Strong's play was also dramatized on television on 28 Oct 1953, with J. Robert Blum directing Geraldine Brooks and Hurd Hatfield. Gloria De Haven and Ricardo Montalban starred in a short-lived musical version of the play that opened in New York on 26 May ... More Less

According to a LAEx news item, Tyrone Power, who had been considered for the part of Chico, was instead put into the film Love Is News by producer Darryl Zanuck because Zanuck wanted to feature him in light, romantic comedies (see above). According to a HR news item, Don Ameche was slated to play "Father Chevillon," but could not because he was also cast in Love Is News . The part was then assigned to John Carradine, but was finally given to Jean Hersholt. HR also reported that photographer Merritt Gerstad was borrowed from Universal and that John Harrington was to be included in the cast, although his participation in the completed film has not been confirmed. A 13 Sep 1937 HR news item reported that the song "Seventh Heaven," written by Lew Pollack and Sidney Mitchell, was "under consideration to be the official theme song for the New York's World Fair in 1939." Austin Strong's play was first produced as a film in 1927 by Fox. Frank Borzage directed Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in the immensely popular earlier version of Seventh Heaven , for which Borzage won an Academy Award for Best Director, and Gaynor won an Academy Award for Best Actress (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.4926). Strong's play was also dramatized on television on 28 Oct 1953, with J. Robert Blum directing Geraldine Brooks and Hurd Hatfield. Gloria De Haven and Ricardo Montalban starred in a short-lived musical version of the play that opened in New York on 26 May 1955. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3-Apr-37
---
Daily Variety
16 Mar 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Mar 37
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 36
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 37
pp. 5-14.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 37
p. 6.
Los Angeles Examiner
23-Oct-36
---
Motion Picture Daily
17 Mar 37
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Jan 37
p. 51.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Mar 37
p. 42.
New York Times
26 Mar 37
p. 25.
Variety
31 Mar 37
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in Charge of Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Seventh Heaven by Austin Strong, as produced and directed by John Golden (New York, 30 Dec 1922).
SONGS
"Seventh Heaven," music by Lew Pollack, lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 March 1937
Production Date:
early December 1936--late January 1937
Copyright Claimants:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp. Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Dates:
26 March 1937 26 March 1937
Copyright Numbers:
LP7092 LP7074
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100 or 102
Length(in feet):
9,278
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
3013
SYNOPSIS

In 1914, in the infamous Paris district called "The Sock," sewer cleaner Chico rescues the timid Diane as she is being beaten by her brutal sister Nana for not entertaining a male customer in Nana's seedy café. While Chico is lamenting his fate and discussing his atheistic beliefs with his friends, Boul and the Sewer Rat, kindly Father Chevillon offers to get Chico a coveted job as a street washer if he will care for Diane and try again to believe in God. Chico agrees, and when Nana's angry customer brings the police to the café, Chico tells them that Diane is his wife so that they will not arrest her. One of the gendarmes threatens to come to Chico's apartment to check on their story, and so Chico is forced to take Diane home with him. As the pair talk, the brash and cheerful Chico tries to impart his optimistic philosophy of life to Diane. After they climb the seven flights of stairs to Chico's airy, light-filled garret, Diane, who is used to the squalid surroundings of The Sock, declares that it is heaven. Chico laughs and sends her to bed, but that night, he lies awake thinking of her, just as she is thinking of him. After Chico leaves for work the next morning, the gendarme visits the apartment and, satisfied that Diane lives there, says he will not be back. Diane is about to leave when Chico returns and tells her they will celebrate his new job with their neighbors, the Gobins. Diane does not have the heart to tell Chico about the gendarme's visit, but after he leaves to ... +


In 1914, in the infamous Paris district called "The Sock," sewer cleaner Chico rescues the timid Diane as she is being beaten by her brutal sister Nana for not entertaining a male customer in Nana's seedy café. While Chico is lamenting his fate and discussing his atheistic beliefs with his friends, Boul and the Sewer Rat, kindly Father Chevillon offers to get Chico a coveted job as a street washer if he will care for Diane and try again to believe in God. Chico agrees, and when Nana's angry customer brings the police to the café, Chico tells them that Diane is his wife so that they will not arrest her. One of the gendarmes threatens to come to Chico's apartment to check on their story, and so Chico is forced to take Diane home with him. As the pair talk, the brash and cheerful Chico tries to impart his optimistic philosophy of life to Diane. After they climb the seven flights of stairs to Chico's airy, light-filled garret, Diane, who is used to the squalid surroundings of The Sock, declares that it is heaven. Chico laughs and sends her to bed, but that night, he lies awake thinking of her, just as she is thinking of him. After Chico leaves for work the next morning, the gendarme visits the apartment and, satisfied that Diane lives there, says he will not be back. Diane is about to leave when Chico returns and tells her they will celebrate his new job with their neighbors, the Gobins. Diane does not have the heart to tell Chico about the gendarme's visit, but after he leaves to get some wine, his eccentric neighbor Aristide chastises Diane for keeping the secret. After he accuses her of taking advantage of Chico and convinces her that her wickedness will destroy any chance he has of achieving greatness, she leaves. Chico is distraught to discover that Diane is gone, and after learning what Aristide told her, he finds her in a bar with a man who is attempting to seduce her. Chico hits the man and takes Diane home, where he tells her that she is fine and good and should remain with him. Time passes as the young people fall in love and Diane overcomes her timidity. Chico proposes to her, but on the day they are to be married, he receives a draft notice. Before he leaves, however, the lovers exchange vows and declare that they are married in the eyes of God. After they promise to think of each other every morning at 11:00, Chico leaves with Gobin. Once Chico has gone, Nana comes to the garret and attempts to take Diane back to the café, but Diane, strengthened by Chico's love, beats her sister until she flees. Four years pass as Chico fights in the trenches and Diane works as a nurse. The couple think of each other every day at 11:00 a.m. and mentally send the message "Chico, Diane, Heaven." After the war ends, Gobin and Aristide, who has become Diane's friend, try to convince Diane that Chico was killed, but she refuses to believe them until Father Chevillon gives her the medal that Chico gave to him when he lay wounded on the battlefield. Diane is heartbroken and renounces her belief in God, but when the clock strikes 11:00, she once again feels Chico's presence. She rushes home and finds Chico, who was only blinded in the explosion that was thought to have killed him. The young lovers embrace and tearfully reaffirm their belief in each other and in God. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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