A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema

By Charles P. Mitchell | Go to book overview

The Seventh Sign (1988)

Rating: **** Threat: Biblical apocalypse

Tri Star. Written by George Kaplan & W.W. Wicket; Photographed by Juan Ruiz Anchia; Special effects by Michael L. Fink & Ray Svedin (supervisors); Edited by Caroline Biggerstaff; Music by Jack Nitzsche; Produced by Robert W. Cort, Ted Field & Paul R. Gurian (executive); Directed by Carl Schultz. 97 minutes.


ANNOTATED CAST LIST

Demi Moore (Abby Quinn, artist expecting a baby); Michael Biehn (Russell Quinn, her husband, a lawyer); Jürgen Prochnow (David, actually Jesus Christ in disguise); Peter Friedman (Father Lucci, actually Kartaphilos, Pilate's doorkeeper who struck Christ and was cursed); Manny Jacobs (Avi, Jewish scholar who assists Abby); John Taylor (Jimmy Szaragosa, Russell's death row client); Lee Garlington (Dr. Inness, Abby's doctor); Akosua Busia (Penny, lawyer); Harry Basil (Kids Korner salesman); Arnold Johnson (synagogue janitor); Rabbi Baruch Cohan (synagogue cantor); John Walcutt (novitiate); Hugo Stranger (Harold Berne, priest murdered by Lucci); Patricia Alien (nursery school administrator); Michael Laskin (Israeli colonel); Ian Buchanan (Huberty, meteorologist); Manko Tse (Abby's practical nurse); Leonard Cimino (cardinal heading committee); Richard Devon (second cardinal); Rabbi William Kramer (Rabbi Ornstein, linguistic scholar); Blanche Rubin (Mrs. Ornstein, his wife); John Heard (minister consulted by Avi); Joe Mays (motel clerk); Jane Frances (TV game show contestant); Glynn Edwards, Robin Groth, Dick Spangler (newscasters); Darwyn Carlson, Harry Bartron, Dale Butcher, Dorothy Sinclair, Larry Eisenberg (reporters); Sonny Santiago (medical technician); Frederic Arnold (surgeon); Adam Nelson, David King (paramedics); Kathryn Miller, Karen Shaver, Lisa Hestrin, Christiane Carman, Irene Fernicola, Yukiko Ogawa (nurses); Robert Herron, Hank Calia, Gary Epper, John Sherrod (prison guards).


SYNOPSIS

Any apocalyptic film that utilizes religious themes is treading on delicate ground since many people are averse to mixing their religious convictions with entertainment. A film about the historic life of Jesus Christ is one thing, but the Second Coming is another. In the light of this challenge, The Seventh Sign manages fairly well, sidestepping any tone of offensiveness. The resulting film is heartfelt yet still entertaining.

The film opens on Christmas Day in Haiti where an other-worldly stranger named David walks through a busy town to the edge of the ocean carrying an envelope with an elaborate wax seal bearing the image of an angel. After breaking

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A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Overview: Cinematic Visions of the Apocalypse xi
  • A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema: Fifty Films in Depth 1
  • The 27th Day (1957) 3
  • Armageddon (1998) 10
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) 17
  • Crack in the World (1965) 22
  • The Dawn of the Dead (1978) 27
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) 33
  • The Day the Sky Exploded (1958/61) 40
  • Day the World Ended (1956) 44
  • Deep Impact (1998) 48
  • Deluge (1933) 54
  • Doomsday Machine (1967/72) 59
  • Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 63
  • The End of the World (1930/34) 70
  • Five (1951) 74
  • Holocaust 2000 (1978) 78
  • The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) 83
  • Kronos (1957) 88
  • The Last Man on Earth (1964) 93
  • The Last War (1961) 98
  • The Last Wave (1977) 103
  • The Last Woman on Earth (1960) 108
  • Lifeforce (1985) 112
  • The Lost Missile (1958) 117
  • The Magnetic Monster (1953) 122
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) 127
  • Mars Attacks! (1996) 133
  • Meteor (1979) 139
  • Moonraker (1979) 145
  • The Night the World Exploded (1957) 152
  • Noah's Ark (1929) 157
  • No Blade of Grass (1970) 162
  • No Survivors Please (1964) 168
  • One Night Stand (1984) 172
  • On the Beach (1959) 177
  • Quiet Earth (1985) 184
  • Robot Monster (1953) 189
  • Runestone (1991) 194
  • The Satan Bug (1965) 199
  • The Seventh Sign (1988) 205
  • Solar Crisis (1990) 210
  • Star Trek—the Motion Picture (1978) 214
  • Target Earth (1953) 221
  • Them! (1954) 226
  • Virus (1980) 231
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) 238
  • The War of the Worlds (1953) 243
  • When Worlds Collide (1951) 249
  • Where Have All the People Gone? (1974) 255
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959) 259
  • Zarkorr the Invader (1996) 265
  • Appendices 269
  • Appendix A 271
  • Appendix B 279
  • Appendix C 283
  • Index 285
  • About the Author 311
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