7th Heaven (Borzage, 1927)

7th Heaven (Frank Borzage, 1927)

7th Heaven is a great film nearly ruined by its need to be epic. What we have here is a sweet and endearing film about two broken people – a woman who is a visible wreck, and a man who hides his loneliness. Borzage treats us to two real people. She is abused, frightened, and lonely. He is a sewer cleaner whose dream job is just to be a street sweeper. They meet and after being put in a situation where she must stay with him for a few days, they develop a sweet, innocent romance. Though at first he pretends to be put off by her company, when the time comes that she can leave, he casually suggests she stay. The whole thing is simple and honestly romantic.

Of course, during the final third of the film, it suddenly becomes a war movie. The sudden change in plot and tone is outright ridiculous and quite a shame. The new and budding romance kind of develops into a boring, ‘shout my love to the mountains’ romance. If Borzage was really going for the themes of love separation and memory, surely there was a better way to handle it. It’s too bad because the first 2/3s of the film was so fantastic.  8.25/10


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