|The Seventh Cross (1944)
Run time: 1h 52min | Drama, War
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Writers: Helen Deutsch Anna Seghers
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Agnes Moorehead
The film is based on a novel by the German writer Anna Seghers, whose work centres on the moral experiences and dilemmas of the Second World War. In the film, seven escapees from a concentration camp in Germany, who represent a cross-section of German society, attempt to reach safety. In reprisal, the camp commandant erects a row of seven crosses and vows to put a man on each. Filmed on the MGM backlot, the film makes realistic use of refugee German actors in even the smallest roles. Though this was not Zinnemann’s first feature, it was his first major success in a career that later included HIGH NOON and FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, among others.