Seven Thunders (film)

Seven Thunders (US title: The Beasts of Marseilles) is a 1957 Second World War film directed by Hugo Fregonese and starring Stephen Boyd, James Robertson Justice, Kathleen Harrison, Tony Wright and Anna Gaylor. It is about two British escaped prisoners of war.

Seven Thunders
Directed byHugo Fregonese
Produced byDaniel M. Angel
Written byRupert Croft-Cooke (novel)
John Baines
StarringStephen Boyd
James Robertson Justice
Kathleen Harrison
Tony Wright
Anna Gaylor
Music byAntony Hopkins
Release date
  • 4 September 1957 (1957-09-04)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


In 1943, Dave (Stephen Boyd), an officer, and Jim (Tony Wright), escape from separate prison camps and are paired together by the underground. They are taken to Marseille by a fishing boat captain to wait for the right opportunity to try for Britain. While they wait, local woman Lise (Anna Gaylor) falls in love with Dave. He is attracted to her, but is engaged.

Meanwhile, Emile Blanchard (Eugene Deckers) refers those desperate to leave France to "Dr." Martout (James Robertson Justice), unaware that his associate is a serial killer who grows rich from his crimes. (According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, real-life murderer Marcel Petiot was the inspiration for Martout.) Jewish undertaker Schlip and ex-Vichy official Bourdin (George Coulouris) become his latest victims.

Given an ultimatum by his displeased superiors to do something about the French Resistance, the German military commander of the city decides to evacuate and demolish the crime-infested Old Quarter, where Dave and Jim are hiding, with only two hours warning. Dave wants to wait for the fishing captain, but Jim chooses to try Dr. Martout. When the captain does show up, Dave goes to fetch Jim, barely saving him from becoming Martout's 100th victim. Martout escapes in his car, but in his haste, crashes and is killed. With buildings blowing up right and left, the pair make their way, with Lise's help, to the boat and freedom. Aboard the boat, Dave and Lise embrace.


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