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The Sentinel (1977)

2:36 | Trailer
A young woman moves into an apartment in a building which houses a sinister evil.


Michael Winner


Jeffrey Konvitz (novel), Michael Winner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Sarandon ... Michael Lerman
Cristina Raines ... Alison Parker
Martin Balsam ... Professor Ruzinsky
John Carradine ... Father Halliran
José Ferrer ... Robed Figure
Ava Gardner ... Miss Logan
Arthur Kennedy ... Monsignor Franchino
Burgess Meredith ... Charles Chazen
Sylvia Miles ... Gerde
Deborah Raffin ... Jennifer
Eli Wallach ... Detective Gatz
Christopher Walken ... Detective Rizzo
Jerry Orbach ... Film Director
Beverly D'Angelo ... Sandra
Hank Garrett ... Brenner


A fashion model moves into a house inhabited (on the top floor) by a blind priest. She begins having strange physical problems, has trouble sleeping at night, and has some nasty flashbacks of her attempted suicide. She complains to the real estate agent of the noise caused by her strange neighbors, but finds out that the house is only occupied by the priest and herself, and ultimately discovers that she has been put in the house for a reason. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She was young. She was beautiful. She was next! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Kate Jackson was asked to play Alison Parker, but turned down the part. See more »


When Allison stabs her father's ghost in the eye, the close-up of the knife cutting through the fake head's eye socket reveals the seams of the replaceable make-up appliance that made re-takes of this effect possible. See more »


Det. Gatz: Well, well, well. You have an ill effect on your women, Mr. Lerman.
Michael Lerman: This isn't police business.
Det. Gatz: A girl running through the streets at 4:00 a.m. saying she's knifed her father, blood on her... that's police business.
Michael Lerman: You know the girl, Gatz. You know how she is.
Det. Gatz: I haven't seen her, not since your wife Karen's... "suicide".
Michael Lerman: Don't get in too deep.
Det. Gatz: [sarcastic] Closed, closed. closed. The case is closed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1987 '18' rated UK video on the CIC label was the original cinema version. The later '15' rated release by Universal on the 4-Front label is the heavily edited US TV version. The 2008 Fremantle DVD features the original unedited version. See more »


Referenced in The 'Burbs (1989) See more »

User Reviews

The only horror flick in history with FOURTEEN name stars!
25 November 2001 | by uds3See all my reviews

"Campy" doesn't adequately describe THE SENTINEL, I'm not sure what does! If for no other reason, but to see actors of the caliber of Martin Balsam, Ava Gardner, Jose Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, Christopher Walken, Chris Sarandon, Eli Wallach and Burgess Meredith all making fools of themselves, is an opportunity you simply cannot pass up in this dumb tale of yet another gateway to Hell!

Cristina Raines plays Alison Parker, a willowy model who decides to move in to a spooky Brooklyn apartment building, remarkably similar to that which Rosemary and her baby recently vacated. Looks like the place is managed by the same body corporate! Tenanted mainly by the aforementioned actors, Miss Raines soon discovers that things are just not kosher somehow. Scenes decidedly campy and less so, blur both her and the audience's lines of reality. Worthy of an academy award alone is that where Raines is seated opposite D'Angelo watching her masturbate. The camera remains on her face as she begins to crack-up in obvious embarrassment at D'Angelo's antics - who wouldn't have? It's arguably the shot of the century!

Michael Winner directs with his usual "God knows what this is gonna turn out like" philosophy. Responsible for such good films as THE MECHANIC and such losers as DEATH WISH 4, its a 50:50 proposition with ANY of his pics!

Horrific or laugh-out-loud funny? you choose! Outrageous fun though, however you look at it!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Italian | Latin

Release Date:

11 February 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sentinel See more »


Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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