Stephen Boyd in “Beast of Marseilles” (Seven Thunders), 1957

Stephen Boyd spent most of 1957 romancing French starlets and sex-kittens. He started the year off filming the WWII drama “The Beast of Marseilles” with Anna Gaylor, which was filmed in Marseilles and London. Later that year he would go to Paris to meet Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim to begin filming “The Night Heaven Fell.”

“Stephen Boyd, young Irish actor who romances Joan Collins in “Island in the Sun,” won’t be coming to California in the near future. 20th Century Fox, where he’s under contract, loaned him to J. Arthur Rank to star in the Danny Angel production “Seven Thunders, ” which will be shot in England. French Star Anne Gaylor will play a top role and Hugo Fregonese directs.” (Los Angeles Times, March 23, 1957)

The film is based on a novel called “Seven Thunders” by Rupert Croft-Cooke. The movie follows the novel fairly closely, but it is well worth reading the novel to get more insight into all of these characters.

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Stephen truly commands the screen with ease,  considering this was his first major part. He is assisted by some wonderful English and French character actors which make all of the story lines engaging to watch.  Exactly a year after filming “The Beast of Marseilles” Stephen would be filming the biggest role of his career – Messala in “Ben-Hur.”

Stephen Boyd fights the crowd while trying to escape the Nazi destruction of Marseilles in “Seven Thunders”, 1957

Stephen Boyd commands the screen in his first true starring role.

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