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To the Devil a Daughter (1976)

 -  Horror  -  July 1976 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 2,149 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 62 critic

An American occult novelist battles to save the soul of a young girl from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest, who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on Earth.

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(screenplay), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Anna Fountain
...
Henry Beddows
...
George de Grass
...
Catherine Beddows
Eva Maria Meineke ...
Eveline de Grass
...
David Kennedy
Derek Francis ...
Bishop
Izabella Telezynska ...
Margaret (as Isabella Telezynska)
...
Kollde (as Constantin de Goguel)
Anna Bentinck ...
Isabel
Irene Prador ...
German Matron
Brian Wilde ...
Black Room Attendant
Petra Peters ...
Sister Helle
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Storyline

An excommunicated priest sets up a satanic cult that only looks Catholic on the outside. He convinces a man to sign over his daughter's soul so that she will become the devil's representative on earth on her eighteenth birthday, but as that day nears, the man seeks the help of an American occult novelist to save his daughter, both physically and spiritually. Written by Brian J. Wright <tyrannorabbit@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...and suddenly the screams of a baby born in Hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

July 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Child of Satan  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Goodliffe and Anthony Valentine were cast at short notice See more »

Goofs

When David burns alive, the stunt performer's head and hands are clearly covered with a greenish protection headpiece and gloves. See more »

Quotes

Father Michael Rayner: It is not heresy, and I will not recant!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

"Hammer's final horror film."
26 November 2004 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS*

Father Michael Rayner (CHRISTOPHER LEE) was ex-communicated from the Church of England for attempting to bring a personification of the devil to Earth. Twenty years on and Rayner has settled in Germany with his devil-worshiping followers under the facade of the "Children of the Lord" cult. Rayner sends his godchild Catherine Beddows (NASTASSJA KINSKI) to England to join her father Henry Beddows (DENHOLM ELLIOT) for her 18th-birthday. Rayner intends to fulfil his old ambition and rebaptise Catherine into the service of evil. Henry who was forced into the cult's evil-doings because his wife was a member of the cult attempts to recant and places his daughter in the care of occult novelist Jim Verney (RICHARD WIDMARK) who must confront and destroy Rayner before he succeeds in making the devil walk the Earth in the form of an innocent girl.

TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER was Hammer's final horror film and the company's second attempt to bring one of Dennis Wheatley's occult novels to the screen. Wheatley was overjoyed by the company's filming of his novel THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968), but was apparently less pleased with Hammer's version of his popular TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER novel which Hammer had considered adapting for the screen as early as 1963. The film took a very respectable £13, 375 on it's opening week at the Odeon Leicester Square and it reached number three in the London Film Charts. On it's general release the film's takings were estimated at about £200,000.

Yet despite this success, Hammer's plans to film Wheatley's THE SATANIST were sadly scrapped. Thus continued Hammer's trip into oblivion which came to a head with an ill-advised remake of Alfred Hitchcock's THE LADY VANISHES in 1979.

TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER is a most enjoyable film. The script may be a little confused but the gore scenes are suitably erotic (more so than in most other Hammer films) and it benefits from good production values and an exemplary cast. Lee is excellent as the disgraced priest, a complete contrast to his portrayal of the Duc De' Richeleau in THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, while Richard Widmark shines as the hero. His performance is up to the standard of the Hammer heroes portrayed by Peter Cushing and Andre Morell even though his character only conflicts with Lee's once. The direction of Peter Sykes is good even if his other feature film credits like STEPTOE AND SON RIDE AGAIN (1973) may cause some initial doubts. Hammer purists consider this to be the company's worst film. It is more graphic than the earlier Hammer horrors and more or less ignores all the traditions of the company's earlier films, which makes it all the more better.


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