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The Omen (1976)

R | | Horror | 25 June 1976 (USA)
Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Rietty ...
Tommy Duggan ...
Priest
John Stride ...
The Psychiatrist
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Dr. Becker
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Roy Boyd ...
Reporter
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Nun
...
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Storyline

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. Without telling his wife he agrees. After relocating to London, strange events - and the ominous warnings of a priest - lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil incarnate. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Those who foretold it are dead. Those who can stop it are in grave danger. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

25 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Antichrist  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,273,886, 27 June 1976, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$60,922,980, 31 December 1976
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Vatican was very opposed to the making of the film, claiming it was being made solely "towards ends absolutely consumeristic and economical". See more »

Goofs

The process for revealing a photo goes like this: Revealer, Water, Fixer and Water. When Jennings is revealing the picture, he takes it out of the revealer and exposes it to light, without the picture being submerged in fixer. A picture that has not been in fixer will start blackening instantly by the light. He treated the photo as though the whole process had been completed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Father Spiletto: [voiceover] The child is dead. He breathed for a moment. Then he breathed no more. The child is dead. Dead. The child is dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666."

Book of Revelation Chapter 13 Verse 18 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: Bad Boys (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(uncredited)
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Sung at Damien's birthday party.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
He's evil. Pure evil!
24 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

Robert Thorn the American ambassador to Great Britain watches his wife's pregnancy when a priest tells him that his newborn has died, but he convinces him to substitute the baby (the wife not knowing) with another child that lost its mother in labour at the same time. Watching their young child growing up, he starts show unnerving signs, which the parents slowly start picking up on and also bizarre tragedies start occurring. This leads Robert on a whirlwind investigation that all points to his son being the Anti-Christ.

Right off the heals of 'The Exorcist' successful stint with moviegoers comes another one of those endless 70s religious themed horror flicks involving Satanism. 'The Omen', I'd definitely say is one of the better horror films in the shadow of "The Exorcist', but I'll even go to say its an vast improvement over it's influencer. That might be a surprise for some, but I found this film superior as it was more entertaining, fascinating and truly creepy in its context and shocks. Everything about it has a knack for falling into place. From the impending doom that's achieved by its coldly layered atmosphere to a premise that teases the viewer on how it's all going to play out. I won't deny that it seems silly enough when you pay close attention to it all, but with such conviction in the performances and that off confident direction, these factors makes sure that it doesn't slip overboard into cheesy daftness. Another stroke of brilliance would be Jerry Goldsmith's memorably, nerve-wrecking score with those explosive chants scattered throughout.

On a grand scale the film was efficiently catered with well established cinematography and polished set-pieces that had penetrating might, which director Richard Donner handled with precise skill. Even when there wasn't much happening he knew how to keep things compellingly tight with good pacing and impressible imagery. Though, when it came to the essential thrills, he caps off some remotely tense (dogs' attack) and macabre moments (infamous decapitation) that display bite and flair. The climax is great and the ending is a fitting imprint too. The plot is filled with shocking revelations, interesting characters and it emits a glorious amount of excitement and dread from it mysterious outset.

The performances are that of top quality by a stellar cast. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are convincingly excellent as Mr and Mrs Thorn. David Warner turns in a marvellous performance as the photographer Keith Jennings. Then Billie Whitelaw is genuinely creepy as Damien's nanny Mrs. Baylock. Patrick Troughton is superb as the withering Father Brennan. But my applause goes to Harvey Stephens' who's the epitome of evil… well; he definitely looked the part and had a memorizing awe as Damien. Although, Peck deserves more credit really, as he brought such devotion to his character that we honestly feel the pain and confusion that hits home.

One of the true benchmarks of horror, along the same lines of 'The Exorcist', but for me it beats that film all ends up. Expect a devilishly good time!


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