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The Omen [VHS] (1976)


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Product details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw
  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Writers: David Seltzer
  • Producers: Charles Orme, Harvey Bernhard, Mace Neufeld
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Latin
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJO7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,031 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

US Ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) is persuaded to substitute a newborn baby whose mother has died in childbirth for his own stillborn son. By the age of five the child, Damien, seems to be exerting a malevolent influence on the Thorn household, suffering a violent fit when he is taken to church and causing his nanny to hang herself. Thorn searches for an answer to his son's behaviour and meets maverick priest Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton), who tries to convince him that Damien is in fact the Antichrist and must be stopped at all costs. The Ambassador at first dismisses this as the crazy rantings of a religious maniac, but subsequent events suggest that maybe the priest had a point.

From Amazon.co.uk

In 1976 The Omen was a hit among critics and audiences hungry for more after The Exorcist with its mixture of Gothic horror and mystery and its plot about a young boy suspected of being the personification of the Antichrist. Directed by Richard Donner (best known later for his Superman and Lethal Weapon films), The Omen gained a lot of credibility from the casting of Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as a distinguished American couple living in England, whose young son Damien bears "the mark of the beast". At a time when graphic gore had yet to dominate the horror genre, this film used its violence discreetly and to great effect, and the mood of dread and potential death is masterfully maintained. It's all a bit contrived, with a lot of biblical portent and sensational fury, but few would deny it's highly entertaining. Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-winning score works wonders to enhance the movie's creepy atmosphere. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

On the DVD: The all-new 45-minute documentary, "666: The Omen Revealed", has contributions from all the major behind-the-scenes players, including director, editor, screenwriter (who confesses the movie was only set in England because he wanted a free trip to London), producer and composer. The latter, Jerry Goldsmith, has his Oscar-winning contribution to the movie recognised with a separate feature in which he talks through four key musical scenes in the score. There's also a thought-provoking short called "Curse or Coincidence?" in which the many bizarre accidents that happened during shooting are related, including the terrible story of what happened to the girlfriend of the man responsible for designing the decapitation scene--spooky. Director Richard Donner and editor Stuart Baird provide a chatty audio commentary to the film, and the DVD package is completed by the original theatrical trailer. --Mark Walker --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By marky77 VINE VOICE on 4 Nov 2006
Format: DVD
When Katherine Thorne (Lee Remick) gives birth to a still-born baby her husband, Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), the current ambassador of the UK, replaces the baby (without her knowledge) with another baby born on the same night who's mother had died during the birth.. The baby was born on the 6th hour of the 6th day of the 6th month (June). They name the baby Damien (Harvey Stephens). The three of them move into a mansion and the all live together happily. But thing start to go wrong for them, starting at Damiens' fifth birthday party when the young maid of the house hangs herself by jumping off the roof proclaiming: "Damien, it's all for you!". A series of equally mysterious deaths lead Robert Thorn to discover the truth that his adopted son is the literal anti-christ - but can he stop Damien before it is too late . . .

`The Omen' is a first class, cult favourite film with a riveting storyline, a talented cast and a chilling musical score. Although this is a horror film it relies more on shock tactics and suspense than it does on blood and gore. The musical score (on recent television performances and DVD releases of the movie) has been digitally remastered with a new Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Mix in comparison to when it originally came out in 1976, but it is still not as good as I should be; it deserves the full 5.1 Remix.

The movie has not got any one particular protagonist, although the two obvious choices would be Robert Thorne and Damien Thorne. In my opinion, Robert is the protagonist, but I thought that the latter was a better and more interesting character so I would consider Damien to be the anti-hero.

In `The Omen' Katherine and Robert Thorne are a rich American couple who move to England while Katherine is pregnant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vote for Pedro on 31 Mar 2006
Format: DVD
I watched this film for the first time when I was 12 and I was afraid to go alone in the dark for about a week. This film proves that the horror genre is not just about blood, guts and gore, and that things can be scary without using that. The film relies on psychological horror and suspense, although there are parts of the film which are very violent. Although the film has a good cat, including Gregory Peck(To Kill A Mocking Bird) and Lee Remick(Days of Wine and Roses), the star of the film is, then 5-year-old Harvey Stephens, whose terrifying stare and smile really hepled the film become the classic that it is now. Another winner is Jerry Goldsmith's score, which won the film an acedemy award, and Richard Donner(Superman, Lethal Weaposn) for his directing which helped give the film its creepy atmosphere and scary shocks. Also watch out for the scene with the pain of glass: it will stay with you forever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caligula II. on 26 Jun 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
THE MOVIE

THE OMEN is an outstanding gothic cult horror thriller of the 70s, made 3 years after THE EXORCIST. While THE EXORCIST was unnecessarily hyped as a scandal movie (it didn't impress me much) THE OMEN was spared such a fate. It was banned for about 3 years in New Zealand, but available everywhere else. It doesn't make THE OMEN any less creepy, though - a demonic child, intense and disturbing, but rather unbloody, death scenes and a very unsettling atmosphere certainly don't make this a movie for everyone.
Directed by Richard Donner, who brought us the LETHAL WEAPON movies and the awesome LADYHAWKE, did a great job with THE OMEN, which sure deserves its cult status. Relying less on gore and more on atmosphere, this is more a thriller than a horror movie.
The cast is great, especially Gregory Peck, who is just a brilliant actor, and also Patrick Troughton (Klove from SCARS OF DRACULA) who brilliantly plays Father Brennan or the especially creepy nanny Mrs. Baylock (played by Billie Whitelaw). We also get to see a young David Warner and Lee Remick. Also remarkable: Harvey Stephens who plays Damien.
Charlton Heston, Roy Scheider, Dick Van Dyke and William Holden were considered for the lead role of American ambassador Robert Thorn, but turned down the role.
Jerry Goldsmith deserves to be mentioned for his great score that really add to the movie's atmosphere - especially the credits at the beginning - and he more than deservedly won the Oscar for his score (I'll just say "Ave Satani").
Personally, I liked THE OMEN better than THE EXORCIST. THE EXORCIST is overrated, THE OMEN is just really good, while it does avoid anything really taboo breaking and gorehounds will probably scoff at it, still it is a gothic horror thriller at its very best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Mar 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
1976's The Omen was easily the best of the wave of Devil movies to come along in the wake of The Exorcist's success, relying less on alternating a naturalistic style with shockingly graphic setpieces but instead putting its faith in a beautifully constructed screenplay that mixed a modern interpretation of the Book of Revelations with a changeling story. Like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby it puts a Satanic spin on parental fears - in this case the cuckoo in the nest and a mother's fear of her own child. Despite the still impressively spectacular deaths, it's less a horror film and more of a supernatural thriller played straight as Gregory Peck's ambassador is gradually led to believe that his troublesome illegally adopted four-year-old son's real dad might just have horns and a tail and be pretty handy with a pitchfork. Although there are still signs that somewhere along the way the film was aimed for an ambiguity that it never really achieves (is the brat really the AntiChrist or just a very naughty boy? Is Peck seeing the truth or going mad?) Its strength is that it plays its premise absolutely straight. It's helped by some fine casting - Lee Remick, Billie Whitelaw, Leo McKern, Patrick Troughton and especially David Warner as the cynical paparazzi whose photos give the film its title and provide its best chills - and is extremely well directed by Richard Donner, who displays a magnificent use of the Scope frame that leaves the film rather diminished in panned-and-scanned TV outings, while Stuart Baird's excellent editing combines with Jerry Goldsmith's sinister score to make the most of the material. It was a tough act to follow, but even so it's a shame just how far its successors fell short.Read more ›
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