Omen

Omen

4.8 8
Director: Richard Donner

Cast: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner

     
 

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Satan's son has arrived on Earth and He's not about to let human parents get in the way. When his wife Katherine's (Lee Remick) pregnancy ends in a stillbirth in a Rome hospital, U.S. diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) substitutes another baby, whose mother died. Little Damien (See more details below

Overview

Satan's son has arrived on Earth and He's not about to let human parents get in the way. When his wife Katherine's (Lee Remick) pregnancy ends in a stillbirth in a Rome hospital, U.S. diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) substitutes another baby, whose mother died. Little Damien (Harvey Stephens) thrives, but, at his fifth birthday party, his nanny mysteriously dies; Father Brennan (Patrick G. Troughton) also expires after warning Thorn that he has adopted Lucifer's son. While sinister new nanny Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw) assiduously protects Damien, Thorn's fears escalate when photographer Jennings (David Warner) shows him pictures from Damien's party with marks suggesting how the nanny and Brennan would die. Thorn seeks out Bugenhagen (Leo McKern), an exorcist who confirms Damien's identity and tells Thorn that the only solution is to kill his adopted son. As the bodies pile up, Thorn tries to do his duty, but trust the law to get in the way of saving the world from future Armageddon.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
Longtime television director Richard Donner made a significant leap into feature-film direction in 1976 with The Omen, a harrowing chiller that ranks with the other occult masterpieces of the day: William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973) and Rosemary's Baby (1968) from Roman Polanski. On the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month, American diplomat Robert Thorne (strong-jawed Gregory Peck) adopts a newborn baby in place of the stillborn child delivered by his wife, Kathy (Lee Remick). The baby's name: Damien. All is well with the Thorne clan until at Damien's fifth birthday party, when his nanny commits suicide in a gruesome fashion in front of the guests. Inexplicable deaths follow, accompanied by a strange new nanny (Billie Whitelaw). With the help of a curious photographer (David Warner), Thorne then traverses two continents hoping to disprove the biblical revelations that point toward his precious bundle of joy being the Antichrist. With gothic religious undertones, The Omen delivers the scares in full, from subtle creeps to over-the-top shocks, and sets up two inadvertent sequels documenting Damien's devilish life -- Damien: Omen II and The Omen: The Final Conflict. A misguided fourth installment, Omen IV: The Awakening, followed on TV, but the original trilogy remains sharp. The DVD's superior sound does justice to Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-winning score -- which also included the Oscar winner for Best Song, "Ave Satini."
Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A well-turned-out remake of the 1976 chiller directed by Richard Donner, this Omen could not hope to match the original's freshness and edge-of-the-seat intensity. Even so, this version avoids feeling like a cynical retread of classic material, thanks mainly to the accomplished performances of its principal players, every one of whom appears here at the top of his or her game. The story revolves around American diplomat Robert Thorn (Liev Schreiber) and his wife, Katherine (Julia Stiles), who adopt a baby under strange circumstances and are pursued relentlessly by the crazed Father Brennan (Pete Postlethwaite), a Roman Catholic priest convinced that their child is the Antichrist. Years later, when the young Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) acquires a full-time nanny named Mrs. Baylock (Mia Farrow), sinister and tragic things begin happening at a feverish pace, and Robert begins to think that perhaps Father Brennan's ravings had a nugget of truth to them. Together with journalist Keith Jennings (David Thewlis), he attempts to ferret out the truth about Damien's lineage. Director John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines) re-creates the original Omen's most memorable scenes with commendable fidelity, and viewers who haven't seen the earlier film will find this one perfectly acceptable as something calculated to raise the hackles. Schreiber, a fine actor, brings the requisite credibility and gravitas to his role -- which was played in the 1976 version by Gregory Peck -- and the youthful-looking Stiles is surprisingly effective in a mature characterization designed for someone at least a half-dozen years older. Farrow invests the nanny with a surfeit of sinister charm and Postlethwaite does right by the passionate prelate whose grisly demise is one of the movie's highlights (as it was in Donner's original). It's no classic, but this Omen deserves a close look and may well offer rewards for those who give it a second or third look as well.
All Movie Guide
Fueled by advances in special effects, the birth of the midnight movie, and a cultural fascination with mysticism, the horror genre achieved a status in the 1970s not seen since its glory days of the 1930s. Of all the occult horror films that surfaced in the wake of 1968's Rosemary's Baby, Richard Donner's phenomenally successful The Omen (1976) was the slickest and least subversive. Derivative but effective, the film was Gregory Peck's box-office comeback, and it offered a convincing turn from Lee Remick as well. The Omen never achieved the cult status of other specimens of the genre, but it paved the way for such 1980s big-budget mystical horror films as The Howling (1981) and Poltergeist (1982). The film's success also ensured more big-screen projects for Donner, including the Lethal Weapon series.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2008
UPC:
0024543533177
Original Release:
1976
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Time:
1:51:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by director Richard Donner & editor Stuart Baird; Commentary by director Richard Donner & Brian Helgeland (screenwriter of Man On Fire); Commentary by film historians Lem Dobbs, Nick Redman & Jeff Bond; Isolated score track; Richard Donner on The Omen; The Omen Revelations: BonusView with trivia track; Introduction by director Richard Donner from 2006; Deleted scenes with commentary Documentaries 666: The Omen Revealed and The Omen Legacy; Screenwriter's notebook; An Appreciation: Wes Craven on The Omen Curse or Coincidence? featurette; Jerry Goldsmith discusses The Omen Score; Theatrical trailer; Still photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gregory Peck Robert
Lee Remick Katherine Thorn
David Warner Jennings
Billie Whitelaw Mrs. Baylock
Leo McKern Bugenhagen
Harvey Stephens Damien
Patrick Troughton Father Brennan
Martin Benson Father Spiletto
Anthony Nicholls Dr. Becker
Holly Palance Young Nanny
John Stride Psychiatrist
Robert MacLeod Mr. Horton
Richard Donner Actor
Ronald Leigh-Hunt Gentleman
Nancy Manningham Nurse
Robert Rietty Monk
Freda Dowie Nun
Sheila Raynor Mrs. Horton
Bruce Boa Thorn's Aide
Don Fellows Thorn's Second Aide
Patrick McAlinney Photographer
Miki Iveria First Nun
Betty McDowall Secretary
Nicholas Campbell Marine
Burnell Tucker Secret Service Man
Yacov Banai Arab
Tommy Duggan Priest
Roy Boyd Reporter

Technical Credits
Richard Donner Director
Stuart Baird Editor
Harvey Bernhard Producer
Tessa Davies Set Decoration/Design
Carmen Dillon Art Director
Gordon Everett Sound/Sound Designer
Stuart Freeborn Makeup
George Gibbs Special Effects
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Claude Hudson Production Manager
Mace Neufeld Executive Producer
Charles Orme Associate Producer
John Richardson Special Effects
George Richardson Art Director
David Seltzer Screenwriter
Maude Spector Casting
Gilbert Taylor Cinematographer
David Tomblin Asst. Director

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