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7 Women (1966)

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7 Women (1966)

aka 7 Women

"A Story of Flame and Fury, Faith and Fear, Love and Adventure"

Directed By: 
Details: 87 mins · English


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Small Dr. D.R. Cartwright
Small Emma Clark
Small Agatha Andrews
Small Miss Binns
Small Jane Argent
Small Mrs. Florrie Pether
Small Mrs. Russell
Small Charles Pether
Small Tunga Khan
Small Lean Warrior


Small John Ford Director
No_movie_poster Janet Green Writer
No_movie_poster John McCormick Writer


"A Story of Flame and Fury, Faith and Fear, Love and Adventure"


In rural China, in 1935, all but one of the white residents of a remote Christian missionary post are women. Miss Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton) is the head of the mission, assisted by Miss Argent (Mildred Dunnock). Charles Pether (Eddie Albert) is a mission teacher; his peevish, middle-aged wife Florrie (Betty Field) is pregnant for the first time. Emma Clark (Sue Lyon) is the only young staff member.

Everyone is elated to learn that a much-needed doctor is arriving. However, they are all shocked to discover that Dr. D. R. Cartwright (Anne Bancroft) is a woman who smokes, wears pants and disdains religion. She and Andrews are soon at odds. Clark, who has led a very sheltered life, is fascinated by the newcomer, much to Andrews' great dismay.

After she has settled in, Cartwright urges Andrews to provide money to send Florrie Pether to a modern facility, as she is too old to give birth safely in their primitive surroundings. Andrews refuses.

Meanwhile, there are rumors of atrocities committed by the bandit Tunga Khan (Mike Mazurki). Andrews is certain that the mission will be safe, as they are American citizens. She remains unconcerned even when the nearby Chinese garrison flees. After a nearby, even poorer British mission is sacked by Tunga Khan, Andrews reluctantly accepts survivors Miss Binns (Flora Robson), Mrs. Russell (Anna Lee) and Miss Ling (Jane Chang), but only for a short time, as she is unwilling to harbor those of any other denomination for long.

One night, Charles sees a fire on the horizon and hears gunfire, so he and Kim drive out to investigate. When the car returns and its horn is honked, someone opens the gate. Bandits on horseback charge in firing their guns and quickly take over the mission. Before he is shot in the back, Kim tells the women Charles was murdered when he tried to rescue a woman being assaulted by Tunga Khan's men. The seven women are herded into a shed.

With Florrie in labor, Cartwright asks for her desperately needed medical bag. Tunga Khan offers to exchange it for her submission to him. The doctor agrees, and a baby boy survives his birth. After Cartwright goes to fulfill her end of the bargain, Andrews vilifies her, calling her the "whore of Babylon", among other things. The others, however, understand the sacrifice the doctor has made and why.

For entertainment, the bandits enjoy watching a wrestling match. When a lean warrior (Woody Strode) steps into the ring to face the winner of a bout, Tunga Khan insists on accepting the challenge himself. Tunga Khan breaks the man's neck, ending a possible threat to his leadership.

Cartwright manages to convince Tunga Khan to let the other women go. Before Miss Binns leaves, she sees the doctor hide a bottle that she had earlier called poison. She urges Cartwright not to do what she is planning, but to no avail. With the others safely away, Cartwright secretly poisons two drinks. After Tunga Khan drinks one, he immediately keels over dead. She utters, "So long ya bastard!" Then, after a moment's hesitation, Cartwright drinks from the second cup.

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