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Curse of the Demon (1957)

Night of the Demon (original title)
Approved | | 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 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:

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

Ray Harryhausen was contacted to create the effect scenes with the demon, but he was already committed to his project The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) with producer Charles H. Schneer. See more »

Goofs

Runic Parchment: When Holden first discovers the parchment which Karswell has passed to him, it has 2 rows of runic symbols. Moments later, when the parchment is trapped against the fire guard, it only has one row. Again, there is only one row on the parchment when Holden visits Stonehenge. 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

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

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User Reviews

 
It's not what you see, it's what you imagine.
3 August 2003 | by senortuffySee all my reviews

"Curse of the Demon" might just be the best horror film I've ever seen. When I saw it for the first time as a teenager in the mid-sixties on television one night, it really frightened me. And even now, at my age, it still gives me goosebumps.

Dana Andrews plays the skeptical American psychologist investigating a devil worship cult in England led by Dr. Karswell, played by Niall MacGinnis. The acting is pretty weak once you get past the two main characters, but it's the craftsmanship of the director that really matters.

Jacques Tourneur manipulates light and shadow to create fear of the unknown in this tale of modern science colliding with ancient sorcery. The monster is pretty tame as far as it goes, but that's not the point. It's not what you see, it's what you imagine that gets to you.

Long, dark corridors ..... dancing shadows ..... strange sounds contrasted with eerie silences ..... the impending sense of doom and apprehension. This film touches our primal fears, like a child waking up during a thunder storm. Is nature an ordered world or can it be manipulated by evil forces?


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