Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Se7en (1995)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Se7en (1995)

In David Fincher's grisly, neo-noir, psychological crime thriller, clues at the various murder scenes for each of the Seven Deadly Sins (gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath) were ingenuously displayed, but none of the actual crimes were seen committed, except for the last one:

  • even before the opening title credits, the meticulous character of soon-to-retire, weary veteran Det. Lt. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) was introduced after 32 years - he was going about his orderly and precise morning routine in his furnished bachelor apartment
  • the wise, perceptive and methodical homicide investigator was set in contrast to his headstrong replacement partner, young, arrogant, brash, hotshot reckless rookie replacement Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt), in their pursuit of a diabolical and sociopathic serial killer named John Doe (Kevin Spacey) who had staged multiple murders
  • all of the killer's seven murders in the film were inspired by the legendary Seven Deadly Sins (Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Envy, and Wrath); the actual murders were off-screen, but described in gruesome detail.
    • Gluttony - the obese victim (Bob Mack), lying face-down with his head in a bowl of spaghetti, was forced to feed himself to death, with a bucket of vomit next to him. A blow to his engorged stomach forced him to hemorrhage. His dark and dingy apartment was filled with rotting food, flies, and roaches.
    • Greed - the victimized wealthy attorney Eli Gould (Gene Borkan) suffered lethal bloodletting.
    • Sloth - the victim Victor (Michael Reid MacKay) (an ex-drug dealer and pedophilic child molester, defended in a case by Eli Gould - see above), was strapped to a bed to suffer a slow death for a year, with minor amounts of IV drugs and medications. His emaciation was chronicled by snapshots taken by the killer -- there was an additional scary moment when the seemingly-dead corpse slightly rose up and coughed
    • Lust - a victimized prostitute/masseuse (Cat Mueller) in a massage parlor was murdered by a severely-distressed and crazed man (Leland Orser) who had been forced to rape and kill her. The traumatized 'John' was ordered at gunpoint by the serial killer to strap on a dildo with a knife blade in place of a phallus.
    • Pride - a pretty model (Heidi Schanz) suicidally chose to kill herself in her bedroom with an overdose of sleeping pills (rather than phoning an ambulance for help), because of her mutilated, sliced and disfigured face - her nose had been cut off.
Crime Scenes - Some of the Seven Deadly Sins




The Still-Alive "SLOTH" Crime Victim - A Major Jump-Scare


  • the third 'murder' scene was for "SLOTH" - in which Mills and Somerset with flashlights and guns, came upon a dark, smelly crime scene; with a SWAT team, the two entered a seemingly-empty apartment (# 306) with hundreds of scented air-freshener magic trees hanging from the ceiling; under a blanket on a bed (when it was pulled away) was skeletal victim Theodore "Victor" Allen (Michael Reid Mackay) who had been tortured and emaciated for an entire year while bound onto the bed; Victor’s left hand had been severed and was used to write the words “Help Me” on the wall in the previous crime scene (for "GREED"), thus providing fingerprints; as SWAT team leader John McGinley bent over the corpse and whispered close to the body's face: "You got what you deserved," the drug-dealing pedophile gave a death-rattling gasp and cough - a major jump-scare, revealing to everyone's shock that he was still alive
  • the film's best acted sequence was a diner scene between Somerset and Mills' unhappy relocated wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) who had just moved to the city from upstate. She confided in him about her unrevealed pregnancy - he advised her that the city was no place for a family, and that if she aborted, she shouldn't tell her husband that she was pregnant. If she went ahead with the delivery, however, he urged: "You spoil that kid every chance you get"
  • in the unforgettable, nail-biting, concluding climax, maniacal killer John Doe led Detective Mills and Somerset to a remote desert area marked by power cable towers, promising to reveal the last two bodies and give his confession
  • instead, he carried through with another sick and gruesome crime and souvenir - "her pretty head" (a severed head, never shown) was delivered in a bloody cardboard box by a driver exactly at 7 pm who was paid $500
  • Doe confessed to the sin of Envy before killing Mills' pregnant wife Tracy: "I wish I could have lived like you did...I'm trying to tell you how much I admire you and your pretty wife...Tracy...It's disturbing how easily a member of the press can purchase information from the men in your precinct... I visited your home this morning after you'd left. I tried to play husband. I tried to taste the life of a simple man...It didn't work out so I took a souvenir - her pretty head"
  • afterwards, he had her head delivered to their location in the middle of the desert: ("Because I envy your normal life, it seems that Envy is my sin - she begged for her life, Detective. She begged for her life, and for the life of the baby inside of her. (To Somerset) Oh, he didn't know")
  • the last of the Seven Deadly Sins (wrath) was luridly demonstrated by anguished and angered Lt. Mills who vengefully shot Doe in the head, and then emptied his gun of five bullets into Doe's body, in exchange for his pregnant wife's beheading; his partner Detective Somerset begged him not to: "That's what he wants. He wants you to shoot him." Doe kept pressing: "Become vengeance, David...Become Wrath...She begged for her life, Detective...She begged for her life and for the life of the baby inside of her...Oh, he didn't know."
  • even though Somerset advised: "If you kill him, he will win," Mills went ahead; as Mills was taken into custody for the shooting and driven away, Somerset offered: "Whatever he needs...I'll be around"
  • after declaring that he wouldn't be quitting after all, Det. Somerset delivered the film's final words (in voice-over): "Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part"

Detective Somerset's (Morgan Freeman) Early Morning Routine

Keeping Track of the 7 Deadly Sins

John Doe: "You're looking for me"

Envy (confessed by Serial Killer John Doe)

"Pretty Head" in a Box: Confession of Envy by John Doe

Det. David Mill's Wrathful Revenge on Doe


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