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Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery | 30 March 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 Julian Karswell
Maurice Denham ... Professor Henry 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:

30 March 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Curse of the Demon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sabre Film Production See more »
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 never planned to show the monster, but to leave it instead to the audience's imagination. However, the studio insisted that the monster be shown, and added it in post-production, allegedly without Tourneur's consent, approval or involvement. "The scenes where we really see the demon were shot without me. All except one: I shot the sequence in the woods where Andrews is pursued by this sort of cloud. [Tourneur himself in Midi-Minuit Fantastique 5.65] + It should have been unveiled bit by bit without it ever really being shown." [in Cinefantsatique; '73.] 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

 
One of the classics
8 February 2007 | by azgolfguySee all my reviews

This piece has stuck with me since I saw it as a child in about 1960. Our family enjoyed horror films, and we always thought that this one was memorable. Seeing it again recently, I haven't changed my mind. Given the effects available at the time and the creepiness factor, I've always though this was one of the better of the older horror movies around.

It is quaint, British, and builds slowly after the initial shock. Some comments say it was boring, shouldn't have shown the creature, Dana Andrews was drunk and sucked, etc. It isn't perfect, but like "The Haunting" and a few others made around that time, it succeeds well in creating an unsettling and generally engaging mood, including some humor, on a very small budget. I still think that the creature F/X was excellent for its time. I can imagine the film without seeing the creature, and maybe that would have been even more effective, again like "The Haunting".

I give it "A-" for effort and execution, and for avid horror buffs, it's definitely worth a watch or two. I've tested this one out with some younger folks, and they seem to really like it. Even a jaded younger horror fan used to blatant gore and in your face monsters said, "That creeped me out." FYI, the "Night" vs. "Curse" versions are different by several minutes of extra footage, which I recall was the séance scene and some connective dialog.


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