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Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon (original title)
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 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:

Terrifying!! All the Dark Forces of Black Magic ... Hurled Against a Man And a Woman Who Dare To Scoff! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | 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:

| (American Release is 13 mins shorter than original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Charles Bennett was angry at the changes made to his script by producer Hal E. Chester. In an interview, Bennett said "If [Chester] walked up my driveway right now, I'd shoot him dead." See more »

Goofs

When Harrington sees the demon and begins to back out of his garage, a sign on the power-line pole clearly states, "Danger- Danger, live wires", yet when he backs into the pole a moment later the sign, which should be facing the camera, is now missing. 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 »

Connections

Version of ITV Playhouse: Casting the Runes (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Plain Song
(uncredited)
Music by Fela Sowande
Chappell Recorded Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic, in a class of its own
6 October 2006 | by scurrie-2See all my reviews

Only the most boorish could not enjoy a film like Night of the Demon, its an absolute classic. It scared the hell out of me as a kid and it still does now.

Much has been said about the appearance of the Demon at the beginning of the film, I can't help but think that it does lend a certain charm and sets the tone of the film quite nicely though. Few films are so atmospheric, brooding and dark. There is something eminently disturbing about a devil worshipper in clowns make up conjuring the forces of darkness at a kiddies Halloween party. The final scene at the railway station with the screeching, thundering locomotives and the whooshing steam combined with the dramatic music are amazing, and the whole film seems to have the low-key black-and-white style typical of film noir.

If I had to nominate one outstanding performance in this film it would have to be NiallMacGinnis as Julian Karswell, who gives a stunning performance as the leader of the cult. With his pointy beard and charmingly English manner he manages to act rings around Dana Andrews, who somewhat woodenly plays the disbelieving sceptic. In fact I actually found myself siding with the bad guy at some points!

Full points for this one, I only wish that most of todays films could live up to its mark.


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