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Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon (original title)
Approved | | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery | July 1958 (USA)
American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joanna Harrington
...
Maurice Denham ...
Professor Harrington
Athene Seyler ...
Mrs. Karswell
...
Mark O'Brien
Reginald Beckwith ...
Mr. Meek
Ewan Roberts ...
Lloyd Williamson
Peter Elliott ...
Kumar
Rosamund Greenwood ...
Mrs. Meek
...
Rand Hobart
Richard Leech ...
Inspector Mottram
Lloyd Lamble ...
Detective Simmons
Peter Hobbes ...
Superintendent
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Chemist (as Charles Lloyd-Pack)
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Storyline

Dr. John Holden ventures to London to attend a paranormal psychology symposium with the intention to expose devil cult leader Julian Karswell. Holden is a skeptic and does not believe in Karswell's power. Nonetheless, he accepts an invitation to stay at Karswell's estate, along with Joanna Harrington, niece of Holden's confidant who was electrocuted in a bizarre automobile accident. Karswell secretly slips a parchment into Holden's papers that might possibly be a death curse. Recurring strange events finally strike fear into Holden, who believes that his only hope is to pass the parchment back to Karswell to break the demonic curse. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Horror! Most terrifying story the screen has ever told! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Curse of the Demon  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (American Release is 13 mins shorter than original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jacques Tourneur never planned to show the monster, but to leave it instead to the audience's imagination. However, the studio insisted that the monster be shown, and added it in post-production, allegedly without Tourneur's consent, approval or involvement. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Holden meets Joanna Harrington at the funeral, she says she needs to talk to him. He suggests that they meet at his hotel that night. She agrees and leaves. At no point did Holden tell her which hotel or room he was staying in. The next scene, she arrives at his hotel room. There is no evidence that the newspapers reported where he was staying, so how did she find which hotel without his help? London does have more than one hotel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: It has been written since the beginning of time, even unto these ancient stones, that evil supernatural creatures exist in a world of darkness. And it is also said man using the magic power of the ancient runic symbols can call forth these powers of darkness, the demons of Hell.
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Soundtracks

Plain Song
(uncredited)
Music by Fela Sowande
Chappell Recorded Music Library
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User Reviews

 
A horror-night to remember!
3 October 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Night of the Demon" is, hands down, one of the most superb horror/occult thriller films ever made, and that's particularly remarkable because the original concept got pampered with a lot of additional ideas and effects the director didn't agree on. Jacques Tourneur ("Cat People", "the Leopard Man") initially wanted to put the emphasis purely on the psychological aspects, but the money-suppliers didn't like this and insisted on bringing an actual demonic monster into the movie. It would be enormously interesting to see the non-existing version like Tourneur imagined it, as then you'd constantly be wondering whether the occurring events are real…or all just going on inside the characters' heads. This creative and innovating (for 1957, at least) impact is naturally ruined by explicitly showing the hideous demon early in the film, so it's extra praiseworthy that the whole finished product is still extremely suspenseful. The plot revolves on a headstrong and overly rational scientist who travels from the States to England, exclusively to prove that the supposed blackly magical powers of a certain Dr. Julian Karswell are all just a swindle. Even the mysterious circumstances surrounding his overseas partner's death as well as multiple warnings from close friends and colleagues can't convince Dr. John Holden to abort his mission to expose Karswell as a fraud. The latter eagerly accepts this challenge and places a curse on Dr. Holden that gradually becomes eerier and pretty much inescapable… the curse of the demon! This is a marvelously atmospheric and genuinely unsettling horror masterpiece! The dialogues and acting performances of the entire cast are downright impeccable and the script (adapted from a story by M.R. James) is so intense & persuasive that you almost begin to believe in the supernatural yourself! Ever encountered a film that has such an impact on you? "Night of the Demon" is very likely to become the first. Several sequences showing our good Dr. Holden pursued by evil forces are truly haunting, while the stylish black & white photography and the beautiful set pieces only increase this effect. You can honestly trust the high IMDb-rating and the praising reviews on this one; "Night of the Demon" is one of those rare films that every self-respecting horror fan simply HAS TO see for him/herself.


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