The Seven Minutes

Watch The Seven Minutes

"The Best Seller They Damned and Banned"
  • R
  • 1971
  • 1 hr 55 min
  • 5.5  (442)

In the film The Seven Minutes from 1971, Wayne Maunder plays Mike Barrett, a young lawyer who is tasked with defending a man named Joel Lerner (played by Ron Randell) who has been accused of obscenity. Lerner's crime is distributing a novel called The Seven Minutes that has been deemed obscene because of its sexually explicit content. The novel has caused a scandal in the community and the authorities are eager to make an example out of Lerner.

Mike is an idealistic young lawyer who believes in the First Amendment and the freedom of expression. He takes on Lerner's case even though it will be an uphill battle. Mike's girlfriend, Lisa (played by Marianne McAndrew), is a liberal activist who supports his cause but is also concerned about his safety. Mike faces opposition from all sides, including the powerful district attorney (played by Philip Carey) who is determined to take down Lerner and anyone who stands in his way.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Irving Wallace and was directed by Russ Meyer. It was released during a time of social and political upheaval in the United States, with the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement dominating the headlines. The film tackles censorship, the power of the media, and the value of free speech.

One of the most notable features of the film is its use of split-screen editing. The film often shows multiple scenes or perspectives simultaneously, highlighting the different characters' points of view. This technique gives the film a frenetic and intense pace, conveying the urgency of the situation and the weight of the issues at stake.

The performances in the film are solid, with Wayne Maunder bringing a fresh-faced earnestness to his role as Mike Barrett. Marianne McAndrew is also effective as his girlfriend, Lisa, adding a touch of vulnerability to the film. Philip Carey is suitably menacing as the district attorney, giving a cold and calculating performance.

The film's subject matter may seem tame by today's standards, but at the time of its release, it was controversial. The film's portrayal of sex and the sexual revolution was considered daring, and it was banned in some countries. The film's message about the importance of free speech, however, remains relevant today, particularly in the age of the internet where censorship and government regulation are ongoing debates.

Overall, The Seven Minutes is a compelling legal drama that tackles important issues and features strong performances and innovative editing techniques.

The Seven Minutes
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (442)