6.3/10
3,736
60 user 86 critic

God Told Me To (1976)

A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them to."

Director:

Larry Cohen

Writer:

Larry Cohen (original screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Lo Bianco ... Peter J. Nicholas
Deborah Raffin ... Casey Forster
Sandy Dennis ... Martha Nicholas
Sylvia Sidney ... Elizabeth Mullin
Sam Levene ... Everett Lukas
Robert Drivas ... David Morten
Mike Kellin ... Deputy Commissioner
Richard Lynch ... Bernard Phillips
Sammy Williams ... Harold Gorman
Jo Flores Chase Jo Flores Chase ... Mrs. Gorman
William Roerick William Roerick ... Richards
Lester Rawlins Lester Rawlins ... Board Chairman
Harry Bellaver ... Cookie
George Patterson George Patterson ... Zero
Walter Steele Walter Steele ... Junkie
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Storyline

The storyline of this movie involves a series of motiveless murders committed by various New York residents: a sniper shoots people from a water tower; a father murders his entire family; and a cop opens fire during a St. Patrick's Day parade. The only consistent pattern to the crimes involves the perpetrators calm admissions of guilt, explaining, "God told me to." While investigating the murders, catholic police detective Peter Nicholas is increasingly troubled by evidence of a Christ-like figure named Bernard Phillips who appeared to each of the killers and can't seem to shake the feeling that his own fate is somewhat linked to this mysterious being. As he comes closer to the truth, his worst fears are confirmed. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Was he a god - the Devil or something even more terrifying... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Demon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When Larry Cohen asked composer Miklós Rózsa to score this picture, Rozsa replied, "God told me not to." See more »

Goofs

The car in the flashback scenes was a 1951 Chevrolet, with post-1973 New York State license plates and registration. Briefly, it also turns into a 1939 Plymouth, when it hits a pothole. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Peter J. Nicholas: God told me to.
[PETER J. NICOLAS Committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Beacon, New York]
See more »

Crazy Credits

This motion picture is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Bernard Herrman. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fiona on Fire (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Momma Sweetlove
Lyrics by Janelle Webb
Music by Robert O. Ragland
Performed by George Gentre Griffin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Cohen film
10 May 2002 | by Bogey ManSee all my reviews

Demon aka God Told Me To is extremely strange and weird film by the legendary director/screenwriter. His films are always unique and have a message which has to be found in the core of the film. Some of his films are "easier" to understand (The Stuff, Blind Alley) while others, like Demon, are far more difficult to see through.

Strange killings committed by usual people start to take place, and all the killers have the same line/justification to say to police questioning. Policeman starts to investigate the cases and soon he's too deep in it to get safely back..

I'm not sure if I can actually say what the film's about because it has to be seen many times before it can be fully understood. Main themes are at least duality in everybody's personality (good/bad) and the question that which part is the dominating one. Cohen wants people to stop and think and it is great that that kind of directors exist. He would never do just entertainment without brain. The weirdness of this film comes close to Lynch, but Cohen's work isn't as surrealistic as Lynch's. Demon and other Cohen flicks are highly recommended if you like independent cinema and intelligent and "difficult" films which are not so often produced nowadays.

7 out of 10.


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