HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Seven Days in May The Secret Revolution
Year: 1964
Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Martin Balsam, Andrew Duggan, Hugh Marlowe, Whit Bissell, Helen Kleeb, George Macready, Richard Anderson, Bart Burns, John Houseman
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the near future, and The United States has drawn up a peace treaty with The Soviet Union for an unconditional nuclear disarmament. But not everyone is happy with what should by all appearances signal the end of the Cold War, and the nation is divided as to whether President Lyman (Fredric March) is making the correct decision for them or not, indeed, his approval rating has dipped to an all-time low despite his assurances that he can make the threat of atomic conflict a thing of the past. One of the loudest voices of protest comes from General James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster), who seems to be rallying dissent wherever he goes with his grave warnings - what can he be planning?

During the Kennedy administration, Hollywood tackled politics with an enthusiasm it had rarely seen before, turning out a number of hot button thrillers and dramas on those topics, though the ones that caught the attention were about the hottest topic of all: was the world to be brought to the brink of destruction by nuclear arms? These think pieces dressed up as movie entertainment seemed to tail off as the nineteen-sixties progressed and the landscape changed after President Kennedy's assassination, and the musings that sinister forces were at work in the echelons of power began to be relegated to conspiracy theories, initially with some justification - not so much later on.

As conspiracy theory became the default mode for popular political thinking, the paranoia predicted by films like this one truly taking hold to grip the public imagination despite often with fanciful evidence to support it, leaving actual conspiracies hiding in plain sight and able to be played out depending on what you were prepared to swallow or reject. Was it possible a military coup could be planned in the most powerful country in the world? After the Kennedy killing, and others like it, the feeling was not only was it possible, but it might genuinely be happening, certainly among the left leaning views, though as time went on the theories became prevalent amidst the right wing.

Was this ironic, considering the bad guys in these sixties efforts were rabidly on the right themselves? What had become so attractive to the conservatives from what was often a liberal, left-leaning way of seeing the world? Films like Seven Days in May promoted their villains, intentionally or not, as far more powerful than the counterparts on the other end of the political spectrum, and Lancaster here was superb in rendering his General as a voice of apparent reason when in effect what he was proposing was insanity that would only lead to mass destruction. It was an excellent performance, though intriguingly he had to be persuaded into it by his friend and colleague Kirk Douglas, who took the dove role as Colonel Casey, the man who realises what Scott is scheming.

Originally, Douglas was to play Scott, but preferred the hero part, and the structure of the film under John Frankenheimer's direction focused on him for the first hour, then Lancaster for the second, an economical use of their enormous star wattage that sustained what could have been a succession of conversations conducted with varying degrees of tension. Which is what it was, and though the source novel was one of those taking a plausible approach by basing its plot in facts from recent history, it was perhaps easier to accept that a potential coup was not going to succeed - though in Britain the following decade, precisely such a conspiracy was planned, so Seven Days in May was not quite as farfetched in concept than it might appear on the surface. Believe it or not, it was the acting that carried it, a collection of excellent character actors in support of Douglas and Lancaster, who of course were the pillars on which the construction rested. Not as flashy as this director's other classics, and it does end abruptly, but thrillers this smart could be relished. Very fine music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 696 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Frankenheimer  (1930 - 2002)

American director, from television, who really shone in the sixties with intelligent suspense movies and dramas like Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train, Seven Days in May, Seconds and Grand Prix, but lost his touch from the seventies onward, with titles like The Iceman Cometh, 99 and 44/100% Dead, Black Sunday, Prophecy, The Holcroft Covenant, 52 Pick-Up, Dead Bang and The Island of Dr Moreau standing out, not always for the right reasons. Thriller Ronin was his swan song.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: