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The Omen (1976)

R | | Horror | 25 June 1976 (USA)
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Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director:

Richard Donner

Writer:

David Seltzer
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Popularity
3,831 ( 45)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Robert Thorn
Lee Remick ... Katherine Thorn
David Warner ... Jennings
Billie Whitelaw ... Mrs. Baylock
Harvey Stephens ... Damien
Patrick Troughton ... Father Brennan
Martin Benson ... Father Spiletto
Robert Rietty Robert Rietty ... Monk
Tommy Duggan Tommy Duggan ... Priest
John Stride John Stride ... The Psychiatrist
Anthony Nicholls ... Dr. Becker
Holly Palance ... Nanny
Roy Boyd Roy Boyd ... Reporter
Freda Dowie ... Nun
Sheila Raynor ... Mrs. Horton
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Storyline

Robert and Katherine Thorn seem to have it all. They are happily married and he is the US Ambassador to Great Britain, but they want nothing more than to have children. When Katharine has a stillborn child, Robert is approached by a priest at the hospital who suggests that they take a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. Without telling his wife he agrees. After relocating to London, strange events - and the ominous warnings of a priest - lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil incarnate. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Who is He? What is He? Should We Fear Him? Can We Stop Him? Is He a Warning? Is He the Beginning of the End? See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Latin | Italian

Release Date:

25 June 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Birthmark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,273,886, 27 June 1976, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$60,922,980, 31 December 1976
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (Blu-ray version)| DTS (Blu-Ray version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck was given the role of Ambassador Robert Thorn after Charlton Heston turned it down in order to make Midway (1976). See more »

Goofs

When the taxi driver in Rome first exits the cab, his finger is bandaged. A minute later, it has no bandage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Father Spiletto: [voiceover] The child is dead. He breathed for a moment. Then he breathed no more. The child is dead. Dead. The child is dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: ROME JUNE 6TH-6AM See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: Near the end, when Robert has Damien in the car in his driveway, scenes of the Rottweiler and Mrs. Baylock attacking one more time were filmed but ultimately cut. Originally, Robert killed her by running her over with the car twice. Director Richard Donner says he cut it because the scene "went on forever." However, the idea was later loosely re-used for the 2006 remake, The Omen. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Satani
(uncredited)
Music and Latin lyrics by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
He's evil. Pure evil!
24 March 2006 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Robert Thorn the American ambassador to Great Britain watches his wife's pregnancy when a priest tells him that his newborn has died, but he convinces him to substitute the baby (the wife not knowing) with another child that lost its mother in labour at the same time. Watching their young child growing up, he starts show unnerving signs, which the parents slowly start picking up on and also bizarre tragedies start occurring. This leads Robert on a whirlwind investigation that all points to his son being the Anti-Christ.

Right off the heals of 'The Exorcist' successful stint with moviegoers comes another one of those endless 70s religious themed horror flicks involving Satanism. 'The Omen', I'd definitely say is one of the better horror films in the shadow of "The Exorcist', but I'll even go to say its an vast improvement over it's influencer. That might be a surprise for some, but I found this film superior as it was more entertaining, fascinating and truly creepy in its context and shocks. Everything about it has a knack for falling into place. From the impending doom that's achieved by its coldly layered atmosphere to a premise that teases the viewer on how it's all going to play out. I won't deny that it seems silly enough when you pay close attention to it all, but with such conviction in the performances and that off confident direction, these factors makes sure that it doesn't slip overboard into cheesy daftness. Another stroke of brilliance would be Jerry Goldsmith's memorably, nerve-wrecking score with those explosive chants scattered throughout.

On a grand scale the film was efficiently catered with well established cinematography and polished set-pieces that had penetrating might, which director Richard Donner handled with precise skill. Even when there wasn't much happening he knew how to keep things compellingly tight with good pacing and impressible imagery. Though, when it came to the essential thrills, he caps off some remotely tense (dogs' attack) and macabre moments (infamous decapitation) that display bite and flair. The climax is great and the ending is a fitting imprint too. The plot is filled with shocking revelations, interesting characters and it emits a glorious amount of excitement and dread from it mysterious outset.

The performances are that of top quality by a stellar cast. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are convincingly excellent as Mr and Mrs Thorn. David Warner turns in a marvellous performance as the photographer Keith Jennings. Then Billie Whitelaw is genuinely creepy as Damien's nanny Mrs. Baylock. Patrick Troughton is superb as the withering Father Brennan. But my applause goes to Harvey Stephens' who's the epitome of evil… well; he definitely looked the part and had a memorizing awe as Damien. Although, Peck deserves more credit really, as he brought such devotion to his character that we honestly feel the pain and confusion that hits home.

One of the true benchmarks of horror, along the same lines of 'The Exorcist', but for me it beats that film all ends up. Expect a devilishly good time!


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