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  • Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD]
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Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD]

151 customer reviews

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Night of the Demon (1957) [DVD] + Dead Of Night (Ealing) - Special Edition [DVD] [1945] + The Innocents [1961] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dana Andrews, Maurice Denham, Niall MacGinnis, Peggy Cummins
  • Directors: Jacques Tourneur
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Mediumrare
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Oct. 2010
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WL825Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,178 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

American psychologist John Holden (Dana Andrews) arrives in England to discover that his colleague, Henry Harrington (Maurice Denham), has suddenly died following his efforts to discredit notorious occultist Julian Karswell (Niall MacGinnis). The cynical Holden dismisses Karswell's warnings as supernatural nonsense, even when he and Harrington's niece, Joanna (Peggy Cummins), are confronted by a series of bizarre and inexplicable events. Holden discovers that Karswell has slipped him a parchment featuring ancient runic symbols a sign that, like Harrington before him, he has been marked for imminent destruction by a fire-breathing demon. As the night of his threatened demise draws nearer, the fearful Holden begins to suspect that Karswell has been telling the truth all along... Contains special features including 'Curse of the Demon', the re-edited American version.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By DT Dunham on 5 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
Incredible film, well worth the wait, but what a pity we did have to wait so long.

Regarding the Demon debate, whether or not it should have been shown, Tony Earnshaw's book on the making of the film, Beating the Devil, covers the matter pretty well, including some quotes from Tourneur and other crew members that seem to be contradictory; that is, in most places he seems adamant that the demon did not appear by his design, but in one or two others it seems that he was not just aware, but also active in placing it within the film. Personally, I suspect that the truth can be found by watching the film itself. There are two elements to the Demon special effect: the long shot, which is absolutely stunning, particularly given the low budget on which it was achieved; the other is a rather pathetic man in a monster suit, which appears very briefly, and could be seen as justification of Tourneur's repugnance for the appearance of the Demon. I have no doubt it is only these few dozen frames featuring the rubber clad SFX man that could have caused the director's consternation. The shame of it is that they could easily have been left out without affecting the film in anything but a positive manner.

MAKE NO MISTAKE - The appearance of the Demon is incredible, adding to and complimenting the film, and ultimately being the thing that stamps the film in the mind. Without it, the film would have still been great, but I suspect it would not have fascinated so many minds for so many years. Any pseudo intellectual babble about it spoiling the film in any way is ill conceived. It is only a few frames that do the damage, not the presence of the demon itself, and they are not enough to take away from the over all effect.
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Lowry on 18 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD
I don't normally write these reviews, but I could not let this go without awarding it 5 stars. It's my all time top film and has been for many years. I can recite the words along with the film, have visited Bricket Wood station just because the finale was filmed there. I could go on and on - but I won't.
If you have never watched this film before, you are in for a wonderful atmospheric horror movie that oozes atmosphere. If you have seen it - you'll know just how brilliant it is!
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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
Night of the Demon is one of the greatest films of the 1950's. A cult classic that holds up to repeated viewings. The film is based on the M R James story 'Cast the Runes' and features Dana Andrews as John Holden, a sceptical psychologist who scepticism begins to ebb away after he meets Dr Julian Karswell.

Karswell is played brilliantly by Niall MacGinnis and there are a number of marvellous scenes between Holden and Karswell. Perhaps the best being a scene in the London Library. Of the remaining cast Maurice Denham is deserving of mention for his small but crucial role as Professor Harrington.

Although it is often quoted that the director Jacques Tournier did not want the Demon shown in the film at all, but bowed to pressure from the producers, the Demon when it appears is a remarkable special effects creation for 1957. Tournier was probably right but it doesn't spoil the film that much.

Originally there were two versions of this film an American cut called 'Curse of the Demon' which ran to 82mins and the British cut 'Night of the Demon' which ran to 95mins. The version on this DVD seems to be closer to the British cut.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Avengers Assemble on 13 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
This film is simply exellent.
I first saw this film on television in the 80's when BBC2 used to show a double bill of horror films on Saturday nights.
This dvd features both the U.K and the U.S versions of the film. The U.K version runs longer.

Highly recommended !!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By wolfers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Ive been waiting for an age it seems for a hd release of this classic film, and while a quite expensive French limited edition is available, the price put me off. So when this release came up I thought I would give it a go.
Im glad to say that the picture quality is fantastic and is much improved over the dvd I have.Really sharp and clear, with nice shades oc black, grey and white.The crispness is very clear.It is as easy as pie to select the english audio and bam there it is, the original soundtrack.So be assured if you want this all time genre classic in its best image to date then I can heartily recomend this release.No extras at all, but that is compensated for by this quality release.So no US release incl.I would even say the image is better than Dead Of Night, another classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 May 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dr. John Holden arrives in England to attend a paranormal convention where the recently deceased Professor Harrington had intended to expose Dr. Julian Karswell as being the leader of satanic cult. Upon learning of Harrington's death, Holden finds that the only link to the mysterious death and Karswell's alleged cult is an accused murderer called Rand Hobart, who is currently in a catatonic state. While Harrington's niece Joanna is convinced her uncle was felled by supernatural forces, Holden sets about debunking it all as pure hogwash. Something that may yet prove to be fatal to his well being?

Prior to 1957, director Jacques Tourneur could boast on his résumé psychological horror classics I Walked With A Zombie & Cat People, the simmering pot boiling Western Canyon Passage and the rightly heralded film-noir piece that is Out Of The Past. He was in short the perfect choice to direct this loose adaptation of M.R. James' story "Casting the Runes". Why then? That producer Hal E. Chester chose to interfere and not let Tourneur have full rein to deliver a supernatural picture that is more about what you don't see is actually what scares you? Is open for scornful debate.

The problem, and the source of much discussion over the years, concerns the demon of the title. Goofy looking and at once taking away the quizzical factor for the audience, Chester had the demon appear both at the beginning and the end of the piece. It was also featured heavily in the film's advertising material (it's on the poster for instance), which quite frankly killed off the minuscule chance the less than scary vision had of shocking the audience.
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