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Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon (original title)
Not Rated | | 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.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Charles Bennett (screenplay), Hal E. Chester (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... John Holden
Peggy Cummins ... Joanna Harrington
Niall MacGinnis ... Doctor Karswell
Maurice Denham ... Professor Harrington
Athene Seyler ... Mrs. Karswell
Liam Redmond ... Mark O'Brien
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Mr. Meek
Ewan Roberts ... Lloyd Williamson
Peter Elliott Peter Elliott ... Kumar
Rosamund Greenwood Rosamund Greenwood ... Mrs. Meek
Brian Wilde ... Rand Hobart
Richard Leech ... Inspector Mottram
Lloyd Lamble ... Detective Simmons
Peter Hobbes Peter Hobbes ... Superintendent
Charles Lloyd Pack 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:

Who will be the next in line to defy the curse? See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Curse of the Demon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jacques Tourneur chose Dana Andrews over Robert Taylor for the lead. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot, when Professor Harrington asks to see Karswell, he demands "I must see Dr. Karswell at once". When Bates, the butler replies, he refers to Karswell as "Mister", and nowhere else in the movie is Karswell addressed as "doctor". One would assume that Harrington of all people, having headed an investigation into Karswell and his cult, would know his title. 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Despite bearing the title "Curse of the Demon", the print currently available on videotape and television in the USA is actually the original longer (UK) cut. See more »


Soundtracks

Cherry Ripe
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Edward Horne
Lyrics by Robert Herrick
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tourneur strikes again
14 August 2001 | by KuRt-33See all my reviews

This film comes with two quality labels: it stars Peggy Cummins (best known for 'Deadly Is The Female' a.k.a. 'Gun Crazy') and is directed by Jacques Tourneur who had already shown his talent for suspenseful films with the RKO classics Cat People and I Walked With A Zombie. So you know what to expect: suspense and quality.

By now of course, technology changed a lot of how films look and it is the "show less - scare a lot" attitude of Cat People and I Walked With A Zombie that made them into the classics that they are. 'Night of the Demon' (a far better title than the American 'Curse of the Demon' - and if you see the film, you'll know why) has one nasty side effect: you see the demon and it's a film demon from the 50s. No matter how scary the film makes the demon, he looks like the thing you see on the cover of the movie box. It could be scarier. But now comes the best part... it doesn't matter! Because the suspense comes from something else in the movie and that is what makes this film so great. Dana Andrews is coming to England to prove that a so-called satanic cult is nothing more than a bunch of fakers and illusionists. The cult leader, however, puts a spell on him and warns Andrews that he will die in a few days. Other 50s film that depend more on the monsters and demons do have that problem: e.g. Roger Corman made some movies that could've been a lot better and scarier if the monster had either been more convincing or given less screen time.

Like in the other two films by Tourneur I mentioned, you always sense something scary could happen. That is what makes films work. In 'Night of the Demon Tourneur' succeeds in scarying you on some occasions when you least expect it. Combine that with cleverly built-up suspense and you know why you should watch this classic. Even if you don't like horror films in general.


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