The Seventh Sign
|The Seventh Sign|
|Directed by||Carl Schultz|
|Produced by||Ted Field
Robert W. Cort
|Written by||Clifford Green
|Music by||Jack Nitzsche|
|Cinematography||Juan Ruiz Anchia|
|Edited by||Caroline Biggerstaff|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
The Seventh Sign is a 1988 apocalyptic drama film written by Clifford and Ellen Green and directed by Carl Schultz. The title and plot reference the seven seals described in the Book of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament of the Bible.
Signs of the apocalypse are appearing, along with a mysterious wanderer. Father Lucci (Peter Friedman) is the Vatican official investigating them. He dismisses the occurrences as natural, but Abby Quinn (Demi Moore) believes that they are real.
In Jewish mysticism, the Chamber of Guf (also Guph or even Gup), Hebrew for "body", also called the Otzar (Hebrew for "treasury"), is the Hall of Souls, located in the Seventh Heaven. Every human soul is held to emanate from the Guf. A possible (though not a literal) reading of the Talmud, Yevamot 62a, is that the Messiah will not come until the Guf is emptied of all its souls.
The final judgment is averted by an act of faith that prevents the final sign of the apocalypse from occurring. In the film, through a flashback, Prochnow also portrays the original Jesus on the eve of his crucifixion. Father Lucci is revealed to be Cartaphilus, a Roman Centurion and Pilate's porter who struck Jesus before his death and was sentenced to wander the Earth until Christ returned to judge mankind. The Lucci-Cartaphilus character is a combination of the Longinus and the Wandering Jew legends. In the movie, Abby—who is soon to give birth—discovers that she is actually the reborn woman some identify as Seraphia, the woman who offered Christ water during the Crucifixion but was turned away by Cartaphilus. She learns that the prophecies lead up to the birth of her child, who may not survive because there will be no more souls left for the newborns unless someone offers their own.
- Demi Moore as Abby Quinn
- Michael Biehn as Russell Quinn
- Jürgen Prochnow as David Bannon
- Peter Friedman as Father Lucci
Release and reception
The film was released theatrically in the United States by TriStar Pictures in April 1988. It grossed $18,875,011 at the box office. It received negative reviews from critics, and holds a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 16 reviews.
- CANBY, VINCENT (April 1, 1988). "The Seventh Sign (1988) Review/Film; The World in Very Big Trouble". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
- "The Seventh Sign". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- "The Seventh Sign (DVD)". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
- The Seventh Sign at the Internet Movie Database
- The Seventh Sign at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Seventh Sign Review by Roger Ebert