Director: Frank Borzage
Writer: Benjamin Glazer, Katherine Hilliker, H.H. Caldwell
Based on: Austin Strong’s play
Cast: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Albert Gran, David Butler, Marie Mosquini, Gladys Brockwell, Emile Chautard, Ben Bard, George E. Stone
Part of: Film and Music Cycle
With music by Vincent Peirani, performed by Vincent Peirani, Émile Parisien, Federico Casagrande, Stéphane Edouard
Seen on: 12.1.2022
Content Note: domestic violence
Diane (Janet Gaynor) lives with her abusive sister Nana (Gladys Brockwell) in a rather destitute situation. After a plan to connect with some distant, rich relations falls through, Nana kicks Diane out and basically leaves her to die. Diane draws the attention of Chico (Charles Farrell), a young sewer worker with big plans. Chico doesn’t have time for Diane’s misery, but when he finds her about to get arrested with a group of sex workers, compassion gets the better of him. He claims that she is wife and frees her that way. But now the two do have to pretend to be married until the police comes to check on them. Bringing Diane to his apartment on the 7th floor, they settle into a routine and slowly become closer.
7th Heaven not only shows that the fake dating trope has long been a staple of the romance genre, but that it really works. With a charming cast, excellent camera work and wonderful music to accompany it, I enjoyed it immensely.