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The Omen (1976)

 -  Horror | Mystery  -  25 June 1976 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 64,087 users  
Reviews: 285 user | 138 critic

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the anti-christ? The devil's own son?

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Title: The Omen (1976)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Martin Benson ...
Robert Rietty ...
Tommy Duggan ...
Priest
John Stride ...
The Psychiatrist
Anthony Nicholls ...
...
Nanny
Roy Boyd ...
Reporter
Freda Dowie ...
Nun
Sheila Raynor ...
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Storyline

Robert and Katherine Thorn seem to have it all. They are happily married and he is the US Ambassador to Great Britain, but they want more than to have children. When Katharine has a stillborn child, Robert is approached by a priest at the hospital who suggests that they take a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. Without telling his wife he agrees. After relocating to London, strange events - and the ominous warnings of a priest - lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil incarnate. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It is the greatest mystery of all because no human being will ever solve it. It is the highest suspense because no man can bear it. It is the greatest fear because it is the ancient fear of the unknown. It is a warning foretold for thousands of years. It is our final warning. It is The Omen. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Antichrist  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Having changed its title from "The Antichrist" to "The Birthmark," the film seemed to fall victim to a sinister curse. Star Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer took separate planes to the UK...yet BOTH planes were struck by lightning. While producer Harvey Bernhard was in Rome, lightning just missed him. Rottweilers hired for the film attacked their trainers. A hotel at which director Richard Donner was staying got bombed by the IRA; he was also struck by a car. After Peck canceled another flight, to Israel, the plane he would have chartered crashed...killing all on board. On day one of the shoot, several principal members of the crew survived a head-on car crash. The jinx appeared to persist well into post-production... when special effects artist John Richardson was injured and his girlfriend beheaded in an accident on the set of A Bridge Too Far (1977). See more »

Goofs

In the first scene when Robert Thorne is being driven through Rome, the time is specified as 6.00AM and the date is June 6th. The sun rises in Rome at 5.30am at that time of year, which would mean it was reasonably light outside, but Robert is being driven in the dark. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Father Spiletto: [voiceover] The child is dead. He breathed for a moment. Then he breathed no more. The child is dead. Dead. The child is dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ROME JUNE 6TH-6AM See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Church (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The Piper Dreams
(uncredited)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Arranged by Arthur Morton
Lyrics by Carol Heather Goldsmith
Sung by Carol Heather Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
He's evil. Pure evil!
24 March 2006 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Robert Thorn the American ambassador to Great Britain watches his wife's pregnancy when a priest tells him that his newborn has died, but he convinces him to substitute the baby (the wife not knowing) with another child that lost its mother in labour at the same time. Watching their young child growing up, he starts show unnerving signs, which the parents slowly start picking up on and also bizarre tragedies start occurring. This leads Robert on a whirlwind investigation that all points to his son being the Anti-Christ.

Right off the heals of 'The Exorcist' successful stint with moviegoers comes another one of those endless 70s religious themed horror flicks involving Satanism. 'The Omen', I'd definitely say is one of the better horror films in the shadow of "The Exorcist', but I'll even go to say its an vast improvement over it's influencer. That might be a surprise for some, but I found this film superior as it was more entertaining, fascinating and truly creepy in its context and shocks. Everything about it has a knack for falling into place. From the impending doom that's achieved by its coldly layered atmosphere to a premise that teases the viewer on how it's all going to play out. I won't deny that it seems silly enough when you pay close attention to it all, but with such conviction in the performances and that off confident direction, these factors makes sure that it doesn't slip overboard into cheesy daftness. Another stroke of brilliance would be Jerry Goldsmith's memorably, nerve-wrecking score with those explosive chants scattered throughout.

On a grand scale the film was efficiently catered with well established cinematography and polished set-pieces that had penetrating might, which director Richard Donner handled with precise skill. Even when there wasn't much happening he knew how to keep things compellingly tight with good pacing and impressible imagery. Though, when it came to the essential thrills, he caps off some remotely tense (dogs' attack) and macabre moments (infamous decapitation) that display bite and flair. The climax is great and the ending is a fitting imprint too. The plot is filled with shocking revelations, interesting characters and it emits a glorious amount of excitement and dread from it mysterious outset.

The performances are that of top quality by a stellar cast. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are convincingly excellent as Mr and Mrs Thorn. David Warner turns in a marvellous performance as the photographer Keith Jennings. Then Billie Whitelaw is genuinely creepy as Damien's nanny Mrs. Baylock. Patrick Troughton is superb as the withering Father Brennan. But my applause goes to Harvey Stephens' who's the epitome of evil… well; he definitely looked the part and had a memorizing awe as Damien. Although, Peck deserves more credit really, as he brought such devotion to his character that we honestly feel the pain and confusion that hits home.

One of the true benchmarks of horror, along the same lines of 'The Exorcist', but for me it beats that film all ends up. Expect a devilishly good time!


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