The Omen (1976)

USA, UK, 1976
107m (Germany – with cuts), 111m
35mm, Panavision (anamorphic), colour, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American/British horror film directed by Richard Donner. It was the first in a popular franchise that ran to two theatrical sequels and a TV spin-off and it was remade in 2006.

Plot Summary

When his child is born stillborn, American ambassador to Italy Robert Thorn arranges for another child to be substituted. But the child, Damien, is the Antichrist, the son of Satan, who will go on to destroy the world. As he grows up, a series of strange deaths surround him and Thorn begins to realise the terrible truth about his ‘son’…

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Richard Donner
© 1976 Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Twentieth Century-Fox presents a Harvey Bernhard-Mace Neufeld production. Made by Twentieth Century-Fox Productions Limited. Released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Executive Producer: Mace Neufeld
Produced by: Harvey Bernhard
Associate Producer: Charles Orme
Written by: David Seltzer
Director of Photography: Gilbert Taylor
Editor: Stuart Baird
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
Sound Recordist: Gordon Everett
Wardrobe Supervisor: G.W. Nicholls
Chief Make-up: Stuart Freeborn
Hairdresser: Pat McDermott
Special Effects: John Richardson, George Gibbs [uncredited]
Art Direction by: Carmen Dillon
Made at: Shepperton Studio Centre, England and on location [Bishops Park, London, England, UK; Brookwood Cemetary, Woking, Surrey, England, UK; Grosvenor Square, London, England, UK; Guildford Cathedral, Guildford, Surrey, England, UK; Pryford Court, Ripley, England, UK; Jerusalem, Israel; Rome, Lazio, Italy]

Cast
Gregory Peck (Robert Thorn)
Lee Remick (Katherine Thorn)
David Warner (Keith Jennings)
Billie Whitelaw (Mrs Baylock)
Patrick Troughton (Father Brennan)
Martin Benson (Father Spiletto)
Harvey Stephens as Damien [Thorn]
Robert Rietty (monk)
Tommy Duggan (priest)
John Stride (the psychiatrist)
Anthony Nicholls (Dr. Becker)
Holly Palance (nanny)
Roy Boyd (reporter)
Freda Dowie (nun)
Sheila Raynor (Mrs. Horton)
Robert MacLeod (Horton)
Bruce Boa (Thorn’s aide)
Don Fellows (Thorn’s second aide)
Patrick McAlinney (photographer)
Dawn Perllman (chambermaid)
Leo McKern [Bugenhagen – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

The Birthmark – working title
Omen I – re-release advertising title
Omen I: The Antichrist – re-release advertising title
Omen I: The Birthmark – re-release advertising title

Sequels
Damien: Omen II (1978)
The Final Conflict (1981)
Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)

Remake
The Omen (2006)

Extracts included in
666: The Omen Revealed (2000)
AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America’s Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001)
Big Screen: 29 October 1999
The Omen Legacy (2001)
Precious Images (1986)
Terror in the Aisles (1984)

See also
Bless the Child (2000)
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
La chiesa (1988)
El día de la bestia (1995)
Doctor Who Confidential: The Fright Stuff (2006)
End of Days (1999)
The Exorcist (1973)
Final Destination (2000)
The Godsend (1980)
Mouse Hunt (1997)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Wacko (1981)
Wayne’s World (1992)

References

Periodicals
Fangoria no.105 (1995) pp.44-48 – illustrated interview with Harvey Bernhard (When The Omen first was spoken by Tom Weaver)
Halls of Horror no.27 p.25 – note
Infinity no.32 (2021) pp.48-52 – illustrated interview with Richard Donner (Richard Donner: A Super Talent by Calum Waddell)
Time Out London 26 September-2 October 2017 p.14 – illustrated note (London on screen: The church from ‘The Omen)
TV Times
29 September-5 October 1990 pp.22, 40 – credits, review

Books
Horror and Science Fiction Films II
by Donald C. Willis p.291 – credits
The Horror Film Handbook
by Alan Frank p.108 – credits, review
Video Movie Guide
p.152 – credits, review

Other sources
BFI Southbank Guide March 2018 p.42 – illustrated listing