"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Older vs. Newer Review: Seventh Heaven

Hello, my fellow movie lovers!

It is a big trend right now to remake movies that have already been made previously. Maybe it's to turn it into a series, or to go from animated to live action. I know that a lot of people are getting tired of this and want new ideas instead of reusing the old ones. Though I haven't done it a lot, I love to compare the older to the newer. Today I will be talking about a movie that was remade in 1937. Yep, you read that correctly, the remake was in 1937. So, hold up, you say, when was the original made? 1927. They converted it from a silent film, into a talkie! Remakes are not a new thing, almost as long as we've been making movies, others have wanted to do it again in their way.
Anyway, couple months ago I found these gems of films that are so sweet and no one knows about! I'm going to review them to let people know that it exisits!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

7th Heaven (1927):
Based on: the play by Austin Strong.
A sewer worker saves a girl from her abusive sister and then has to pretend that he's married to her because he lied to the police. All will be fine as soon as she can leave. With a new job everything seems to be going well, but is something else going to be put in his way?
Genre: Drama, Silent.
Length: approx. 110 minutes.
Costumes: 7, we see one person without a shirt, and others in underclothes. There is nothing fancy.
Script: N/A, as this is a silent movie. I did like the opening title card:
"For those who will climb it, there is a ladder leading from the depths to the heights---from the sewer to the stars---the ladder of Courage."
Directed by: Frank Borzage.
Written by: Austin Strong, Benjamin Glazer, Katherine Hilliker, & H. H. Caldwell.
Charles Farrell as Chico.
Janet Gaynor as Diane.
Gladys Brockwell as Nana.
David Butler as Gobin.
Albert Gran as Papa Boul.
Marie Mosquini as Madame Gobin.
Emile Chautard as Father Chevillon.
Ben Bard as Colonel Brissac.
George E. Stone as Sewer Rat.
Cinematography: 9, I was so impressed by the actions and expressions of the actors because with a silent movie you really have to show what they are thinking because they can't talk. There was also one part with climbing stairs where the cinematography was just so neat!
Cinematography by: Ernest Palmer & Joseph A. Valentine.
Music: I'm going to mark this as N/A because while the background music in silent movies can change a lot.
Quotes: Again, N/A.
Oscars won: 3: Best Directing (Dramatic Picture), Best Writing (Adaptation), & Best Actress (Janet Gaynor). This film was nominated for Best Picture for the first Oscar ceremony! Janet Gaynor's award was for a combination of three performances Street Angel, Sunrise, and Seveth Heaven.
Content: 8, there is a suggestive thing (just one with the Street Rat, the rest is so clean), war scenes, smoking, and some violence and abuse, but is shown as bad.
Originality: 10, I'll talk about this later, but I love this storyline so much!
Good For: Silent movie lovers, everyone.
Age Range: It is pretty clean, as I mentioned in my content section. It might be a bit boring for younger viewers, but it depends on the individual person.
Overall Score: 8.5!


Seventh Heaven (1937):
Based on: the play by Austin Strong and the 1927 silent movie.
In Pre-World War I France, an aethiest is tired of working in the sewers. When he saves an abused and suicidal girl, a priest helps him out. After lying about her to the police to save her from being arrested he is in a tough situation. He figures out a temporary situation, but with the world always changing will his plans be stopped?
"You aren't dead! Unless you keep thinking you're dead, then you are dead."
This is the picture that made me want to watch it!
Genre: Drama.
Length: approx. 102 minutes.
Costumes: 8, Nothing indecent at all, but nothing eye-catching.
Script: 10, no bad words!
"Street workers never speak to sewer men, that's part of the social system."
Directed by: Henry King.
Written by: Austin Strong and Melville Baker.
James Stewart as Chico.
'"One day you'll be yourself."
"Myself? What would that be? Myself?"'
Simone Simon as Diane.
Jean Hersholt as Father Chevillon.
Gale Sondergaard as Nana.
J. Edward Bromberg as Aristide.
Gregory Ratoff as Boul.
John Qualen as Sewer Rat.
Victor Kilian as Gobin.
Thomas Beck as Brissac.
Cinematography: 8, ah, I love black and white!
Cinematography by: Merritt B. Gerstad.
Music: 8, a nice score.
Music by: David Buttolph & Cyril J. Mockridge.
Quotes: 8,
'"You have a great head!"
"You have a great heart!"'
Content: 9, as with the original, there are war scenes, a suggestive thing, and violence and abuse, though shown as bad.
Originality: 10, Ah, this story makes me so happy!
Good For: James Stewart fans! Everyone!
Age Range: Same as the older one, but younger viewers might find a talkie more interesting.
Overall Score: 9!
Sorry, there is a lot of pictures of the same people because my skills at finding good ones were not up to par today!

Character comparison:

L: Charles Farrell. R: James Stewart.
I love Chico so much! He's a sewer worker who claims to be a "very remarkable fellow" and is not scared of anything. He thinks that he doesn't need God, and therefore doesn't believe in him. He's tired of being treated like dirt and actually, to be on dirt, on the ground would be a step up in the world. This is my biggest complaint, that Gobin isn't nice to him because of that. I love his character, and I completely understand the need to seem big and "untouchable" and in charge because you are scared of people seeing your weakness.
Charles Farrell did really well with his facial expressions and everything, but (surprise surprise) James Stewart is my favorite. It is so funny, because in the talkie everyone has a French accent except him, but I still love it.

L: Janet Gaynor. R: Simone Simon.
Diane is such a sweet loveable dear who I want to hug. She has been through so much and is tired of being what she is. She is scared and hurt, and so afraid of hurting others or being a burden. She just wants to thank people as she can and is so beautifully faithful.
As I said, Janet Gaynor won the first Best Actress Oscar for her performance, and it was so good, but Simone Simon was such a sweetheart, I just have to say that she is my favorite.

These two darlings are so precious! I love their reverse character arcs as Chico begins to show his fears and Diane becomes so brave. AH. These two deserve all the love!! Please, I need someone to love them as much as I do.

Ah!! This story is so sweet! You know those books or movies that just make you so incredible happy and get warm fuzzies? This is one of them for me. When I watched this it has been awhile since I was so obsessed with a movie, and an older one, too! These plot lines are pretty much identical. The only differences are:
1. Diane's backstory. Her sister is still very abusive, but for slightly different reasons.
2. The added character of Aristide.
That's basically it! You might wonder, "Why would they remake a movie and not change any of it except by adding sound?" The answer: James Stewart. Jimmy makes every movie 100X better. But, he is my favorite actor so I might be biased. I saw the 1937 version first and absolutely loved it. It wasn't until a few days ago that I watched the original. The original is really good, I just kept imagining everything with the other actors. Haha! So yeah, both are great, but my favorite is the 1937.
I know that these movies might not be the thing for everyone, but they are so sweet, I would love for you, my readers, to watch them! I would recommend the 1937 first, but if you do that then you spend the whole time watching the 1927 thinking about it, hehe!

The Newer Wins!

Well, I'm off to rewatch the 1937 because all of this talk about it has made me so happy and I want to just laugh, cry, and full out "fangirl". Thanks for reading! Favorite silent movie? Favorite James Stewart movie? Tell me in the comments! And please, if anyone has seen either of these, WE NEED TO TALK.



  1. I haven't watched either of these, but they sound good! I don't think I've ever watched a silent movie--how different of a viewing experience is it from watching a 'talkie'?


    1. Good question because I love talking about silent movies! Movie theaters usually had an orchestra and played music during movies and in digital copies they include that so it isn't completely silent. They did put in title cards, which said any bit of narration or dialogue needed. But, they didn't like breaking up the action every few seconds to do that, so the main difference between a silent film and a "talkie" is that the silent actors expressions are really exaggerated so you can figure out what is happening. In this movie it's obvious whenever a character's name is said. It was good for me when I was little because I couldn't read the first few times I saw silent short films! I'll put more information in my reply to Sarah's comment below.

  2. I've never heard of this movie, but it looks LOVELY. Also, I will eagerly watch anything with Jimmy Stewart in it. XD (I think maybe my favorite I've seen of his is Harvey? It's a hard choice though. Do you have a favorite?)

    How different is a silent movie from a talkie? I've never seen a silent film, and I can't quite imagine it. I mean, dialogue is so important in film!! Good dialogue is make or break for me in stories. How exactly do silent films compensate?

    Also, this is kind of random, but have you ever seen an old black and white romcom called (I think) Midnight? Something about your description of this reminded me of it, even though I don't think they can be similar at all... (There's an American girl and a cab driver, I think Hungarian. It takes place in Europe,and they end up pretending to be this Count and Countess... So sorry for how random this is. XD)

    1. Oh, it is! I rewatched it the other day and any movie that is just as good the second time is a keeper! Honestly, same. XD (Harvey is so good!! I've seen 14 movies with him, but my all time favorite is It's A Wonderful Life! <333 It's one of the best films EVER. I also really liked The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance!)

      As I told Samantha in the above comment, they have title cards every once in awhile to explain what someone is saying, but overall there isn't a lot of dialogue. Quotes are one of my favorite parts of a movie, but nevertheless silent films are so much fun to watch! My older sister and I love to narrate silent movies which drives my younger sister crazy because she tells us that she can see what is happening! My favorite movie of all time, Singin' in the Rain, is about actors making the transition from silent to "talkies". An element of one of my favorite books, Wonderstruck - by Brian Selznick, mentions how once sound came to movies deaf people were at a disadvantage in the theater, which is so interesting because I had never thought about that! Anyway, I definitely recommend both of those, and giving a silent film a try!

      Don't worry, I'm the master of being random. XD That movie doesn't sound familiar, but I totally want to watch it now! That sounds like something right up my alley!

  3. I thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiink I saw part of the Jimmy Stewart version of this, long ago on AMC or TCM, like back in college. Forgot all about it! I'll have to kind of seek it out.

    BTW, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Play if you want to!

    1. Jimmy Stewart movies are totally worth seeking out! :-) I feel like you'd really like how sweet this is!

      Oh, fun! Thank you so much! I'll have to check that out.

  4. I'm so glad you were able to see this movie. It is an absolute GEM!! I love it so much. I haven't seen the 1927 version, but I love Jimmy and Simone separately and together that I think it might be hard for the 1927 version to top it for me. Great review! Chico, Diane, Heaven <3

    1. Yes, I'm so happy that just by a chance I watched it! It is so sweet and wonderful. <3 That was what it was like for me, the 1927 is nice, but I just kept imagining Jimmy and Simone as Chico and Diane! Thank you! I'm glad that I found someone else who likes it! <3

  5. I haven't seen either version [well, I may have seen part of the 1937 version, but I'm not sure]. It looks interesting, though. Do you think I would like it?
    I don't have a problem with reboots, as long as they're done well, and aren't a carbon copy of the original.

    1. Some of the movies that I love my sister can't stand because she doesn't like black and white films and she claims that they are "cheesy". I know that Romance is your least favorite genre (Same for me!), but if your fine with sweet drama from time to time then you might like this! And, Jimmy Stewart makes everything great. Or if you haven't seen a silent film before it could be a good place to start!
      Yes! Remakes should express someone's new vision for a movie and not be the exact same.

    2. Sweet drama is totally fine. It sounds like an interesting movie. I'll have to add them to my To Be Watched list. I've seen a silent film, but it was a long time ago.

    3. I just got one of my sisters to watch it and she really liked it, took, which I wasn't expecting!

  6. They both sound like really good movies.I haven't seen many silent films.
    Well they did the remake thing with the movie Ben-hur. There are three now. ;)


    1. They are! I would fully recommend both of you like the genre!
      Oh, Ben-Hur is such a famous story, but I've never seen any version, even though there are three! What do you think of it?


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles