The Omen by David Seltzer3.5 - 4.0
Let He who hath understanding
Reckon the number of the Beast;
For it is a human number,
Its number is Six Hundred and Sixty Six.
This is another case, where Ive seen the movie (1976) before reading the book. I loved the movie (not the 2006 remake); and enjoyed the novel - just as much, mostly - though I think the movie was, slightly, better. Some of the death-scenes played-out differently, and Thorns visit to Meggido, where Yigaels Wall is situated in the Old City of Jezreel - and has the image of the Anti-Christ (Damien) wasnt in the book (or is it in Damien: Omen 2? I cant remember now. Havent seen the movies, for eons). He went to Israel with Jennings to find Bugenhagen - but didnt see the Wall. Why? It wasnt even mentioned. Why? As a marketing stratagem, the book preceded the movie by two-weeks.
I loved the soundtrack, as well, which was used to great dramatic-effect; especially when something bad was about to happen. Jerry Goldsmith won an Oscar for Best Original Score. I think the graveyard scene creeped-me-out the most, when Thorne opens the graves and sees what lies within. Its like revelations. After the movie was shown: there was an influx of people wanting to own Rottweilers, for some reason. The scene in the elevator (Omen 2), ensured I took the stairs, regardless how many flights I had to ascend.
The 1976 film, had a budget of $2.8 million and took $60.9 million at the Box office, compared to the 2006 (pointless) remake, which took $119.5 million at the Box office.
Gregory Peck (Robert Thorn)
Harvey Spencer Stephens (Damien Thorn)
Lee Remick (Katherine Thorn)
David Warner (Keith Jennings)
Billie Whitelaw (Mrs. Baylock)
Patrick Troughton (Father Brennan)
Holly Palance (Nanny) - didnt know Jack Palances daughter was in the film.
Martin Benson (Father Spilletto)
It happened in a millisecond. A movement in the galaxies that should have taken eons, occurred in the blinking of an eye.
And so it begins...
American Diplomat, Robert Thorn, is visiting a hospital in Rome, where his wife, Kathy, is about to give birth. When he reaches the hospital, hes told, his child is dead, It breathed for a moment, whispered the priest, then breathed no more. Hes advised that his wife is safe, but will be unable to bear another child. Shes been pregnant twice-before which were still-born, this one went to full-term and died - unbeknownst to Thorn - with a little intervention.
In another part of the hospital, a mother has given birth: where the child survived and the mother died. The priest tells him, he could adopt. Its a foundling, said the priest. Its mother died as your own child...in the same hour. And so begins Thorns deception. He cant - wont - tell his wife, shes lost another child. Itd destroy her.
Only three people are privy to the childs true nature: Father Spilletto, Sister Teresa and Father Tasscone. And only one of those, eventually, has a conscience. I liked the background-history on Tasscone; and how he became part of the covenant in Rome - that was quite amusing. He wants absolution for his transgressions. Er.. redemption denied.
● The Number Of The Beast, Iron Maiden.
● O Fortuna, Carl Orff/Wagner.
● Shout At The Devil, Motley Crue.
Good Omens - Official Trailer - Prime Video
The Omen (1976)
In an age of effects run wild, what would a "contemporary" remake look like? No doubt lightning would zap from little Damien's ears, and his mother would not merely topple from a balcony but spin down to the bowels of the Earth. The story outline is as before: Worried astro-theologians in Vatican City ponder the meaning of comets in the heavens and upheavals on Earth, and an American diplomat and his wife have a baby boy in a Rome hospital. They are told the child has died, and the husband is urged by a sinister doctor to substitute a baby born the same day to an unwed mother. He agrees, keeps this a secret from his wife, and together they raise Damien, of whom it can be said that if he were made of snips and snails and puppy-dog tails, it would be an improvement.
Sign in. Watch now. Damien the Antichrist, now thirteen years old, finally learns of his destiny under the guidance of an unholy disciple of Satan. Meanwhile dark forces begin to eliminate all those who suspect the child's true identity. The now adult Antichrist plots to eliminate his future divine opponent while a cabal of monks plot to stop him.
Sign in. Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son? Robert and Katherine Thorn seem to have it all. They are happily married and he is the US Ambassador to Great Britain, but they want nothing more than to have children. When Katharine has a stillborn child, Robert is approached by a priest at the hospital who suggests that they take a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth.
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The Omen is a American suspense horror film directed by Richard Donner. Written by David Seltzer , it is the first in a series of films. Rome , Italy , June 6, AM.
Once was that Catholic priests in the movies were played by Bing Crosby and Spencer Tracey and went about dispensing folksy wisdom, halftime pep talks and pats on the back. Times have so changed, alas, that these days movie priests are almost inevitably engaged in titanic confrontations with the forces of darkness. Jason Miller and Max von Sydow were killed in their efforts to drive the evil spirit from poor Linda Blair in " The Exorcist ," and now here's another priest, in "The Omen; " wickedly substituting the spawn of Satan for the newborn son of Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. He ain't heavy, father -- he's the devil. The tot grows up sullen and introverted, as well he might. To what degree can Beelzebub seriously devote himself to Tinkertoys?