Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come ...
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John Llewellyn Moxey
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Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come after him. His wife Catherine de Montfaucon soon discovers that her husband is acting mysteriously and that his employees are following old pagan rituals that call for the life of the marquis himself to save the crops. Written by
Kim Novak and David Hemmings apparently had an affair during the filming of the movie. Hemmings claimed in his autobiography that Miss Novak was fired after an argument with producer Martin Ransohoff. See more »
The Turner print has the main title as "Eye of the Devil" but the ending credit lists the title as "13". See more »
Eye of the Devil doesn't exactly have a good reputation, but much of the criticism aimed at it is rather unfair in my opinion; as while the film certainly could have been a lot better considering the plot and the cast; this British chiller isn't bad at all, and certainly provided this viewer with enough chills and suspense. Based on a novel by Philip Loraine, Eye of the Devil could be called a predecessor to the great British occult classic 'The Wicker Man' as it features similar themes of devil worship and witchcraft. Although not as good as the later film, J. Lee Thompson's effort is still a more than interesting film that just about works in spite of the overly complicated and often confusing mess of a plot. The film follows vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon, who is called back to his castle after a dry season. His wife and children follow him, despite his request for them to remain in London; and it's not long before the wife is on his case after she discovers him acting strangely. Things take a turn for the more sinister when the strange vineyard employees begin following ancient Pagan rituals...
The central locations; that being the castle and surrounding vineyard, are very well used, and benefit the film in that they lend it a thick, foreboding atmosphere. The plot revels in this atmosphere - and themes of witchcraft and devil worship are well used and at the forefront at all times. The film's biggest asset, however, is undoubtedly the cast list; and Eye of the Devil benefits from an array of present and future stars. Casino Royale stars David Niven and Deborah Kerr take the lead roles, and the pair are given excellent support by a young Donald Pleasance, as well as The Fearless Vampire Killers' Sharon Tate and a very eerie performance by Deep Red's David Hemmings. The only area that the film falls down on really is the writing; as it is often difficult to decipher exactly what is going on, and there is, perhaps, a little too much plot for a film of this nature. The story does allow for a number of standout moments, however; and scenes such as the one that Sharon Tate and Deborah Kerr share at the top of castle will stay in my memory for some time. Overall, this isn't a must see or classic film; but it's a decent horror effort and should appeal to horror fanatics.
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