An American occult novelist battles to save the soul of a young girl from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest, who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on E... Read allAn American occult novelist battles to save the soul of a young girl from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest, who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on Earth.An American occult novelist battles to save the soul of a young girl from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest, who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on Earth.
"To the Devil...a Daughter" is one of the earliest Nastassja Kinski films and must have been seen by Roman Polanski who realized her potential. It is not a chessey film, but does have a few pieces of cheese in it. The most obvious one is the full frontal nudity scene of a very young Nastassja. Yes, it is cheesey, but from an editing view, is more shocking than titillating. In her first scene, it is apparent that there is more than a passing resemblance between Nastassja and Ingrid Bergman - innocent, clean beauties. In one of the scenes, Nastassja was having a problem actually getting the tears that the director wanted and there had been quite a few retakes. Richard Widmark said to the director, "when I say turnover, turnover, it's going to happen." Sykes started the film rolling and Widmark hit her right "in the chops" and the tears came and he said, "OK, now act." The cast is first rate and included Richard Widmark (who was pretty disgusted with the film and threatened to walk out on it), Christopher Lee (of horror film fame), Honor Blackman a renown actress at the time in Britain (known to American audiences as Pussy Galore of the James Bond "Goldfinger," and Denholm Elliot as the German bad guy in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
It is best to watch "To the Devil...a Daughter" with no expectations and let the film naturally unfold, without preconceived mental baggage. If one is steeped in the occult traditions, then this movie is not for you because of its glaring errors - all made up by the afore mentioned screen writer. Otherwise, the mood of the picture is quickly set by Richard Widmark's,
"98% of so called satanist are nothing but pathetic freaks who get their kicks out of dancing naked in freezing church yards and use the devil as an excuse for getting some sex, but then there is that other 2%, I'm not so sure about them."
Christopher Lee's role as the maniacal, ex-communicated priest brings to mind the great performance of Boris Karloff as Imhotep in the 1932 "The Mummy," who had the supernatural power to project thought over space and time. "To the Devil...a Daughter" is well paced with its race against time.
- Sep 9, 2003