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Eye of the Devil (1966)

Not Rated | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | July 1966 (UK)
Workers employed at a French vineyard follow old pagan rituals that call for the life of the marquis owner to save his crops during dry seasons.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Robin Estridge (screenplay), Dennis Murphy (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Catherine de Montfaucon
David Niven ... Philippe de Montfaucon
Donald Pleasence ... Pere Dominic
Edward Mulhare ... Jean-Claude Ibert
Flora Robson ... Countess Estell
Emlyn Williams ... Alain de Montfaucon
Sharon Tate ... Odile de Caray
David Hemmings ... Christian de Caray
John Le Mesurier ... Dr. Monnet
Michael Miller Michael Miller ... Grandec
Donald Bisset Donald Bisset ... Rennard
Pauline Letts Pauline Letts ... Marianne
Robert Duncan Robert Duncan ... Jacques de Montfaucon
Suky Appleby Suky Appleby ... Antoinette de Montfaucon
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Storyline

Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come after him. His wife Catherine de Montfaucon soon discovers that her husband is acting mysteriously and that his employees are following old pagan rituals that call for the life of the marquis himself to save the crops. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vineyard | dove | ritual | estate | france | See All (33) »

Taglines:

we've got your number! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1966 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

13 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmways Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1964 it was announced that James Coburn would be joining the cast. See more »

Crazy Credits

The Turner print has the main title as "Eye of the Devil" but the ending credit lists the title as "13". See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Witches (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stunning
9 February 2006 | by gothic_a666See all my reviews

Atmospheric horror dealt in a skillful and very sober way: this movie works more through suggestion, weaving its narrative through grand scenarios of uncanny intensity which is greatly enriched by the black and white colouring that casts a certain aura all over the action and sharpens the characters' peculiarities.

The plot revolves around an ancient curse that plagues a family, linked with a superstitious awe that borders on paranoia. In itself, it is nothing too original: the distraught mother observes with alarm the sudden changes that take place when her so far devoted husband returns to the family estate, a magnific medieval castle, and tries to unravel what is behind the revolution. Yet, its the subtlety with which the theme is approached that distinguish the movie as above average, and raise it to the standard of artistic endeavor as well as story-telling. I'd say that imagery, especially the vibrant contrast between dark areas of film to which correspond luminescent patches, is one of the most relevant and outstanding elements that craft this movie into looking like an animated painting of bizarre overtones.

With some hints of psychological drama that pervade the atmosphere (not the extent that is achieved with such movies as "The Haunting", 1963, but using the same basic approach) the tense environment is stressed and developed as a succession of drama-infused situations that escalate into a stunning climax.

The horror, something organic, in the old Gothic tradition, relies on the architecture to project its full impact upon a solid cast of actors, whose performances are perfectly in sync the overall attitude of uncomfortable beauty that sets the leitmotiv for the whole movie.

To this we add an ambiguous collection of character that hint at the possibility of the supernatural as well as providing enough dark innuendos to undercut the apparently peaceful family relations, a certain order of blood ties being shown and (potentially) unnatural; and an all encompassing narrative frame that is perfect enacted through the curse: not that in itself but the scenes that finally disclose the secrets pertaining said curse.

Overall, a very worthy effort that has aged well, and that actually be more enjoyable now, stripped of its more direct content and perceived more for the great art work that is the heart of the movie.


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