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The Demon (1963)

Il demonio (original title)
Purif, young peasant of the South Italy, is considered from the people a possessed one and a witch. All of the village is hostile to its activity magical and sorceress. The girl will be ... See full summary »


Brunello Rondi


Brunello Rondi (story), Ugo Guerra (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Daliah Lavi ... Purificata
Frank Wolff ... Antonio
Anna María Aveta ... Sister Angela
Tiziana Casetti Tiziana Casetti
Dario Dolci Dario Dolci ... Don Tommaso
Franca Mazzoni Franca Mazzoni ... The Mother Superior
María Teresa Orsini María Teresa Orsini ... Nun
Rossana Rovere Rossana Rovere ... Antonio's Wife


Purif, young peasant of the South Italy, is considered from the people a possessed one and a witch. All of the village is hostile to its activity magical and sorceress. The girl will be preserve from the community, undergoing a tragic and violent death. Written by Antonio La Torre (BCULT, Palermo, Italy)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A night she wakes up bound to the bed and with the bleeding body . The revenge of the devil will not delay!


Drama | Horror


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Italy | France



Release Date:

29 November 1967 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Demon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 41064 delivered on 25-9-1963. See more »

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User Reviews

Strega! Strega!
1 April 2017 | by BezenbySee all my reviews

I have to admit that I have never watched someone throw a dead cat at someone else in a film before. I'm not sure if the dead cat was a metaphor for something or other, because The Demon struck me as one of those horror films that has one foot stuck in the Art-house, so everything may just represent something else.

What I gathered from the film is that the populace of rural Italy are a very superstitious bunch who are not very good at coping when one of their own exhibits the signs of severe mental illness. I'm guessing these days if someone had walked in on young Purif piercing her chest with a needle, gathering the blood in cotton, then burning it, then giving it to a young man to drink in some wine, they may have called in a Doctor rather than accuse her of being a witch.

The young man in question is Antonio (Wolff) and he is due to marry a more stable girl, much to Purif's dismay. Purif doesn't do herself any favours however by giving Antonio the wine, watches him drink it, then shouts something like "Ha! You're drinking my blood!" It may surprise you that Antonio goes ahead with the wedding anyway.

The director here goes out of his way to show that the people in this village have just as many strange routines as Purif, from hiding a blessed scythe under Antonio's wedding bed, or shouting at an oncoming storm to break and feed the crops with rain. Not a lot goes right for these folks and naturally they begin blaming the wild eyed girl who goes around saying she has a demon inside her.

I guess the question is: Does Purif have a demon in her? Antonio wakes up covered in boils, the candles in the church start burning low, a boy is found drowned and the last person to see him was Purif. I'd probably know the answer but the only word I understood during the final narrative was the word 'free'.

This is a good film that leaves it up to you to decide if it's a horror or not. There's plenty of scenes that must have shocked way back then (Purif's raped twice by dirty old men, she does a crazy spider walk while being exorcised, also tries to strangle a nun), so I'm not sure why this one is so obscure.

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