7th Heaven (1927 film)

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7th Heaven
Seventh Heaven 1927.jpg
Directed by Frank Borzage
Produced by William Fox
Written by Benjamin Glazer
Bernard Vorhaus
Austin Strong (play)
Starring Janet Gaynor
Charles Farrell
Ben Bard
Cinematography Ernest Palmer
Joseph A. Valentine
Edited by H.H. Caldwell
Katherine Hilliker
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
  • May 6, 1927 (1927-05-06)
Running time
110 min
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles
Box office $1.75 million[1]

7th Heaven (1927) is a silent film and one of the first films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (then called "Outstanding Picture"). The film was written by H.H. Caldwell (titles), Benjamin Glazer, Katherine Hilliker (titles) and Austin Strong (play), and directed by Frank Borzage.

The movie is a romance starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. Gaynor won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Borzage won for Best Director and Glazer won for Best Writing, Adaptation.

7th Heaven is the 13th highest grossing silent film in cinema history, taking in more than $2.5 million at the box office in 1927.

In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Broadway play[edit]

7th Heaven was based on the Broadway play of the same name, a 1922 production that ran at Booth Theatre from October 30, 1922 to July 1924 for a total of 704 performances. The leads were played by George Gaul ("Chico") and Helen Menken ("Diane"). Also in the cast of the play was Frank Morgan.[2]


Theme tune[edit]

Janet Gaynor in 1927

7th Heaven features the song "Diane" by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack, who wrote the song specifically for the film.


The poster for 7th Heaven is displayed on the wall of the student Watanabe's lodgings in the oldest surviving film by the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, Days of Youth: A Student Romance (Gakusei Romansu: Wakaki Hi) (1929).

1937 US remake[edit]

A comparatively unknown remake of the film was produced as a sound film in 1937, starring Simone Simon, James Stewart, Jean Hersholt, and Gregory Ratoff, with Henry King directing.

1937 Chinese remake[edit]

Chinese writer-director Yuan Muzhi loosely based the plot of his 1937 film Street Angel on 7th Heaven, though it shares a title with a different Frank Borzage film, the 1928 release Street Angel. Yuan's film, a tragicomedy, portrays the lives of the underclass in Shanghai, including two lovers, a returning soldier and his fiance, a singing girl played by then-little-known Zhou Xuan. Zhou herself was from a very poor background and in her youth had narrowly escaped a future in the sex trade, but she became one of China's iconic seven great singing stars on the strength of her performance, and the film became one of the last great hits of the First Golden Age of Chinese Cinema before the 1937 Japanese invasion of China. It remains one of the most acclaimed Chinese language films ever made, appearing at number 11 in a 2005 centennial list by the Hong Kong Film Awards, immediately below Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.[3][4]


External links[edit]