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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's living in the gateway to hell. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Michael Winner has referred to the one time Head of Universal Studios, Sid Sheinberg, as a twit for letting he dogs interrupt the private screening (at Sheinberg's house) of the initial cut of the film. 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 »


Miss Logan: I find that New Yorkers have no sense for anything but sex and money.
Alison Parker: Well, I guess there's something to be said for that.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original opening of the film, including some outdoors shots filmed in northern Italy, implied that the sentinels were controlled by an order of the Catholic Church. These scenes were replaced in the American broadcast version with new scenes involving the same cast, now describing the sentinels as minions of an excommunicated order of defrocked priests, the "Brotherhood of the Protectors." In the TV version, Jose Ferrer's character is a monsignor instead of a cardinal, and has more dialog. See more »


References Space: 1999 (1975) See more »

User Reviews

Burgess Meredith Has a Devil of a Good Time in this Film
21 April 2008 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Christina Raines plays a lovely model in New York who seeks out a new apartment and begins to meet strange neighbors and reveal a secret about the building and herself slowly building up to quite a climax by film's end. This film has all kinds of neat plot elements from the Roman Catholic Church vs. the Devil, to the gateway to Hell, to bizarre rituals, to a growing conspiracy, and finally to a host of talented famous actors and actresses flooding the film. We get Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, Chris Sarandon, Jerry Orbach, Deborah Raffin, Arthur Kennedy, Jose Ferrer, Slyvia Miles, Beverly DeAngelo, Eli Wallach, Martin Balsam, Christopher Walkin, William Hickey, Tom Berenger, Jeff Goldblum, and who can forget John Carradine as the old priest. Many of these actors ham it up - particularly Burgess Meredith giving a fine comic/demented performance as one of the neighbors with a little bird and a cat. Meredith is memorable as is Balsam and Chris Sarandon. Some of the performers have virtually nothing to do like Jose Ferrer in a thankless role even if it is nothing more than a cameo. The Sentinel is a fine horror film with plenty of psychological elements and some truly terrifying scenes. The end scene is repulsive and yet chilling. I do find fault with some of the gratuitous sex and violence in the film, particularly that whole scene with DeAngelo and Miles. Was that really necessary? I think not. Also, the father/daughter stuff was a bit much as well, but overall the film works and has a winning pace. Director Michael Winner does a workmanlike job and is effective creating tension and scary movie moments. The scenes with Carradine are particularly effective.

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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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