Gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, and lust--these are the seven deadly sins that are being punished with unimaginable cruelty and calculation by an enigmatic killer in David Fincher's bleak thriller SEVEN. Set in a perpetually gloomy unnamed city, the film follows Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a retiring police detective, as he experiences his final week on the job, reluctantly working with assertive newcomer Mills (Brad Pitt). When an obese man is found brutally murdered in his home, the seasoned Somerset realizes this is no ordinary killing--someone tortured him because of his appetite. Slayings that reflect the sins of greed and sloth soon follow, leading Somerset and Mills on a desperate search to find the mysterious John Doe, who is responsible for these methodical murders. As the case builds to a startling conclusion, both Somerset and Mills become more involved than they ever could have imagined.
After a brief opening scene, SEVEN immediately cuts to a highly stylized title sequence. An intricate collage of books and photos, scissors and razors, and blood and skin eerily captures the dark, graphic tone of Fincher's intriguing mystery. The film cleverly avoids depicting most acts of violence onscreen, focusing instead on the cryptic remains of the crimes, allowing viewers to investigate along with the detectives. An example of nearly flawless filmmaking, the movie features a meticulously crafted screenplay, brilliant photography and design, sure-handed direction, and excellent performances from the entire cast. All of these elements combine to amazing effect in the film's unforgettably stunning finale.
Richard Portnow - Supporting Actor
Andrew Kevin Walker - Screenwriter
Brad Pitt - American actor/producer, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
William Bradley Pitt - American actor/producer, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
Peter Crombie - Actor/"Seven"
Arnold Kopelson - American Producer
David Fincher - American director
R. Lee Ermey - American supporting actor, FULL METAL JACKET/TOY SOLDIERS
Lee Ermey - American supporting actor, FULL METAL JACKET/TOY SOLDIERS
Ronald Lee Ermey - American supporting actor, FULL METAL JACKET/TOY SOLDIERS
Kevin Spacey - American actor
John Cassini - Canadian Actor
Darius Khondji - Cinematographer
Arthur Max - Production Designer/Actor
Morgan Freeman - American Actor
Gwyneth Paltrow - Oscar Winning Actress, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Richard Francis-Bruce - Editor, THE PERFECT STORM (2000)
Richard Francis Bruce - Editor, THE PERFECT STORM (2000)
Richard Francis Bruce - Editor, THE PERFECT STORM (2000)
Michael Kaplan - Costume Designer, BLADE RUNNER (1982)
In this bleak and gruesome thriller, an idealistic young cop and his grizzled, burned-out partner go after a serial killer whose ghastly crimes symbolize the seven deadly sins.
Theatrical release: September 22, 1995. Shot in Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker wrote SEVEN while working as a manager at New York's Tower Records. An original opening sequence features Somerset (Morgan Freeman) looking at a house in the country as a future home. While walking through the house, he cuts the print of a flower from the wallpaper and keeps it. Later, at the Mills apartment, he drops the paper flower, and Tracy Mills (Gywneth Paltrow) makes reference to it. Both of these scenes were cut from the final film. Many works of literature are referred to in the film, including writings by Milton, Chaucer, Dante, and Shakespeare. Richard Roundtree (SHAFT) appears in the film as a district attorney. Brad Pitt and Gywneth Paltrow became romantically involved around the time of the movie's filming. Pitt severed a tendon in his hand when he fell during the rainy chase sequence. In audio commentary on the SEVEN DVD, he explains, "So as I'm pushing myself outta this smashed windscreen, I put one hand down on the edge, then I got up and started chasing John Doe down the street. It wasn't 'til I got 'round the corner that I thought: 'Oops, something went wrong....' I ended up cutting a tendon, a nerve through three fingers....It was the only time I saw Finch go green....It was not pretty." The cast he wore for the injury was worked into subsequent scenes. Pitt's contract stated that the film's grim ending could not be changed by the studio. Richmond Arquette, brother of Patricia, Rosanna, David, and Alexis, appears as the deliveryman near the end of the film. He also plays a hospital intern in Fincher's FIGHT CLUB. Real police officers were used as technical advisers on the film. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted Kevin Spacey the runner-up for best supporting actor for his body of work in 1995. Howard Shore was the runner-up for best music. SEVEN was one of the surprise hits of the year, taking in more than $95 million at the U.S. box office. Many in the film industry didn't think the film would be so successful because of its grim story line--and (in some people's opinion) a less attractive Brad Pitt. The film opens with "Closer to God" by Nine Inch Nails (as remixed by Coil) and closes with "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" by David Bowie. Beware: Spoilers! Kevin Spacey was supposed to receive top billing along with Pitt and Freeman at the beginning of the film, but the actor insisted that his name not appear in the opening credits in order to surprise the audience with the killer's identity. To compensate, Spacey is listed first in the closing credits. An unfilmed alternate ending features Somerset shooting John Doe. When Mills yells "What are you doing?" Somerset says, "I'm retiring."
"...[Combines] furious action with an intelligent meditation..." - Recommended - 04/01/1996 Premiere, p.129
"...[A] nerve-jangling thriller....Envy and wrath are paired up for a twisted, gut-wrenching climax..." - 10/05/1995 Rolling Stone, p.76-7
"...The most complex and disturbing entry in the serial killer genre since MANHUNTER..." - 01/01/1996 Sight and Sound, p.49-50
"...[An] alluring aura of doom...[and] an apocalyptic fable for the milllennium..." -- Rating: B - 03/29/1996 Entertainment Weekly, pp.71-2
"SEVEN is dark, grim and terrific. An intensely claustrophobic, gut-wrenching thriller....[With] a fine script, striking craftsmanship and a masterful performance by Morgan Freeman..." - 09/25/1995 Variety
"...A dark, grisly, horrifying and intelligent thriller....SEVEN is well-made...and uncompromising in the way it presents the disturbing details of the crimes..." - 09/22/1995 Chicago Sun-Times, p.35
5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] thriller steeped in a decaying atmosphere of fear and loathing that even a filmmaker as consummate as Fincher will struggle to surpass." - 11/01/2010 Total Film