Seven Sinners
Poster of the movie Seven Sinners.jpg
Film poster
Directed byTay Garnett
Written byJohn Meehan
Harry Tugend
Based onstory by Ladislas Fodor
László Vadnay
Produced byJoe Pasternak
StarringMarlene Dietrich
John Wayne
CinematographyRudolph Maté
Edited byTed J. Kent
Music byHans J. Salter
Frank Skinner
Joe Pasternak Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • October 25, 1940 (1940-10-25)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

Seven Sinners (UK title Cafe of the Seven Sinners) is a 1940 American drama romance film directed by Tay Garnett starring Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne in the first of three films they made together.[2] The film was produced by Universal Pictures in black and white.


Torch singer Bijou Blanche has been kicked off one South Seas island after another. She is accompanied by naval deserter Edward Patrick 'Little Ned' Finnegan and magician/pickpocket Sasha Mencken. Eventually, she meets a handsome young naval officer, Lt. Dan Brent, and the two fall in love. When Brent vows to marry Bijou, his commander and others plead with him to leave her.



Tay Garnett and Marlene Dietrich on the set
Tay Garnett and Marlene Dietrich on the set

Dietrich had just revived her career with Destry Rides Again (1939) and this film featured many of the same elements, including cast members. She was paid $150,000 for her performance.[1]

The film was the second American film for Anna Lee (although the first to be released). She says Marlene Dietrich insisted Lee dye her hair from blonde to brown so she would not clash with Dietrich. She also says Dietrich selected John Wayne as her leading man after spotting him in the commissary and saying to producer Joe Pasternak, "Mommy wants that for Christmas."[3]

Filming took place from July to September 14, 1940. In 1950, the film was remade as South Sea Sinner, starring Macdonald Carey and Shelley Winters.

See also


  1. ^ a b Eyman, Scott (2015). John Wayne: The Life and Legend. Simon and Schuster. pp. 109–111. ISBN 9781439199596.
  2. ^ Hal Erickson (2007). "Seven Sinners (1940)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on November 19, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  3. ^ Bawden, James; Miller, Ron (2016). Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood's Golden Era. Kentucky Press. p. 209. ISBN 9780813167121.