5.9/10
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To the Devil a Daughter (1976)

R | | Horror | July 1976 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Peter Sykes

Writers:

Christopher Wicking (screenplay by) (as Chris Wicking), John Peacock (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Widmark ... John Verney
Christopher Lee ... Father Michael Raynor
Honor Blackman ... Anna Fountain
Denholm Elliott ... Henry Beddows
Michael Goodliffe ... George de Grass
Nastassja Kinski ... Catherine Beddows
Eva Maria Meineke ... Eveline de Grass
Anthony Valentine ... David Kennedy
Derek Francis Derek Francis ... Bishop
Izabella Telezynska Izabella Telezynska ... Margaret (as Isabella Telezynska)
Constantine Gregory ... Kollde (as Constantin de Goguel)
Anna Bentinck Anna Bentinck ... Isabel
Irene Prador Irene Prador ... German Matron
Brian Wilde ... Black Room Attendant
Petra Peters ... Sister Helle
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Storyline

An excommunicated priest sets up a satanic cult that only looks Catholic on the outside. He convinces a man to sign over his daughter's soul so that she will become the devil's representative on earth on her eighteenth birthday, but as that day nears, the man seeks the help of an American occult novelist to save his daughter, both physically and spiritually. Written by Brian J. Wright <tyrannorabbit@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warning! This Motion Picture Contains The Most Shocking Scenes This Side Of Hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To the Devil... a Daughter See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released in the U.K. just forty days after Nastassja Kinski's fifteenth birthday, making it a virtual certainty she was only fourteen when her scenes were shot. In a 1997 interview, Kinski admitted feeling "torn apart" by the pressure to appear nude, and regretted there was no one present to protect her. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where Catherine is about to be injected with morphine, he doesn't fill the syringe properly, the plunger staying at the bottom. Then it suddenly switches to a full syringe with the plunger fully extended. See more »

Quotes

Father Michael Rayner: It is not heresy, and I will not recant!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

It Works Much Better the Second Time
14 July 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

To the Devil a Daughter (1976)

*** (out of 4)

At a book signing, occult novelist John Verney (Richard Widmark) is asked by a father (Denholm Elliott) to track down his daughter Catherine Nastassja Kinski). At first John thinks that the father is mixed up with the occult but it turns out that a Catholic priest (Christopher Lee) is wanting to use the girl in order to become Astaroth.

TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER would turn out to be Hammer's final movie (for a time) and it was a notorious flop that pretty much ruined the studio. I first watched this movie around a decade ago and I really thought it was bad. I thought it was a poor imitation of ROSEMARY'S BABY and that it was trying to cash in on countless Satanic films that were popular throughout the decade. There were elements to it that I liked so that's the reason I decided to revisit the film and this second time around I must admit that it worked on me.

With that being said, it's easy to see why so many people have such mixed reactions to the picture. Some call it a stellar horror film while others see it as a botched effort for the studio to try and do something serious. I think all of the elements are here for a classic film but it does fall a bit short of that. Having said that, there are still a lot of very good elements here including the fact that it's a very good looking film that manages to hold your attention throughout.

The Satanic elements have been done countless times before and there's not too many new things here but I think the film succeeds because of the atmosphere and the slow-burn pacing. It's funny but the first time I watched the picture I attacked it for its pacing but this second viewing had it working a lot better and I'm guessing it was because I was expecting it. I thought the film was rather brave at being slow-paced because by 1976 people were expecting things a lot faster so to have a film that takes its time was unique.

I also thought that the performances were wonderful with Widmark, Lee, Kinski and Elliott delivering extremely work. I thought Widmark did a really good job playing the type of tough guy that he was known for. Kinksi also deserves a lot of credit for her performance and Elliott steals the picture every time he's on the screen. Many people attack the ending, although experts in the field will tell you that the happenings would be destroyed so easily. That's fine but I think for the film it needed something a bit better.

TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER is a film that stirs a lot of debate and I can understand why as I've both hated it and grew to enjoy it.


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