A group of blind people, led by teacher Alex Swain (Barry Nelson), are flying to a convention for the blind in Seattle. When their flight is knocked off-course by an unexpected storm, the plane crashes into a remote forest. The plane’s crew and the one sighted passenger are all killed in the crash, leaving the eight blind passengers to fend for themselves. The plane is perched on the edge of a mountain, there are wolves all around, and no one can see the surrounding terrain. And one of the passengers is pregnant and could give birth at any minute! To Alex’s resentment, the group turns to Mark (Sean Garrison) to help them survive in the wilderness. Mark was blinded while serving in Viet Nam and he’s still haunted by what happened during the war. At first, he resists being thrust into a leadership role but finally, it becomes clear that he has no choice. Under Mark’s leadership and despite Alex’s protestations, the eight survivors try to find their way back to civilization.
Filmed for television and based on a novel by Leonard Bishop, Seven in Darkness is a tense and well-acted movie. It’s not easy to watch the survivors feeling around in the darkness, trying to find their way to safety. That we can see what they don’t makes things all the more suspenseful. Even more importantly, the film does a good job of presenting the survivors of being individuals. Even though they all share a disability, they still have their own personality quirks, strengths, and flaws. Surprisingly the stand-out amongst the cast is none other than Milton Berle, cast in a dramatic role and giving a nuanced performance as the angriest of the survivors. Watching Seven in Darkness, you come to care about all of the survivors and you get very wrapped up in whether or not they’re going to be able to make it to safety.
Seven in Darkness was the first film to be shown as a part of ABC Movie of the Week. It can be found on YouTube.