The Seven Minutes (film)
|The Seven Minutes|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Russ Meyer|
|Produced by||Russ Meyer|
|Screenplay by||Manny Diez (uncredited)
Richard Warren Lewis
|Based on||The Seven Minutes
by Irving Wallace
|Music by||Stu Phillips|
|Editing by||Dick Wormell|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||115 minutes|
After a teenager who purchased the erotic novel The Seven Minutes is charged with rape, an eager prosecutor who is against pornography (and preparing for an upcoming election) uses the scandal to declare the book as obscene and brings charges against the bookstore. The subsequent trial soon creates a heated debate about the issue of pornography vs. free speech. The young defense lawyer must also solve the mystery of the novel's true author.
- Wayne Maunder as Mike Barrett
- Marianne McAndrew as Maggie Russell
- Philip Carey as Elmo Duncan
- Jay C. Flippen as Luther Yerkes
- Edy Williams as Faye Osborn
- Lyle Bettger as Frank Griffith
- Yvonne De Carlo as Constance Cumberland
- Jackie Gayle as Norman Quandt
- Ron Randell as Merle Reid
- Charles Drake as Sargent Kellogg
- John Carradine as Sean O'Flanagan
- Harold J. Stone as Judge Upshaw
- James Inglehart as Clay Rutherford
- Tom Selleck as Phil Sanford
- Olan Soule as Harvey Underwood
- Charles Napier as Norman Quandt
- Wolfman Jack as Himself
- Lynn Hamilton as Avis
This was Meyer's second, and last, mainstream production for Twentieth-Century Fox. The film began production soon after the success of Meyer's highest grossing film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. As with many of his movies, Meyers used several actors from his previous productions, including then-wife Edy Williams, Charles Napier, Henry Rowland, and James Inglehart. Established actress Yvonne De Carlo makes an appearance along with veteran character actor Olan Soule. A young Tom Selleck also had a role in the film, and DJ Wolfman Jack made a cameo appearance.
Known as "King of the Nudies" for his work in the sexploitation film genre, Meyer planned nude scenes in this mainstream film. He informed female lead candidates that nudity would integral to their roles, and after casting interviews, considered Marianne McAndrew to be suitable. He subsequently signed her for the lead role of Maggie Russell. McAndrew, previously known for her work as the prim and proper Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly!, accepted the role based upon her wish to change her own image and in order to gain more work within the industry. She reported that during the filming itself, Meyers was "considerate and gentlemanly".
New York Times reviewer Roger Greenspun wrote of the film, "I don't think that a court of law is the right Russ Meyer arena, and The Seven Minutes, which had started out pretty well, bogs down hopelessly in its courtroom legalisms and its absolutely non-cliff-hanging rush to unearth the real identity of the mythical J J Jadway", citing some problems with the film being its complicated plot and "enormous cast of characters". In addressing the film's use of nudity, he wrote "[Meyers] has never been so much concerned with undressing his girls (there are maybe five seconds of nudity in "The Seven Minutes") as admiring their appetites, their overwhelming proportions (but not so much their seductive flesh), their often destructive and self-destructive wills."
Variety wrote that Irving Wallace's original novel was a "potboiler" "which averted the essence of the problem in resolving the story," and noted that Russ Meyer was himself a "censor-exploited as well as a censor-exploiting filmmaker", who began with a story handicap and added a few of his own. They expanded that Meyer used "cardboard-caricatures of his heavies" which obscured issues, and included the "regular time-out for the sexually-liberated dalliances which have been his stock in trade."
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- Variety staff (January 1, 1971). "review: The Seven Minutes". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2010.