The Devil Rides Out (film)
|The Devil Rides Out|
Theatrical release poster.
|Directed by||Terence Fisher|
|Produced by||Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Written by||Richard Matheson|
|Based on||The Devil Rides Out
by Dennis Wheatley
|Music by||James Bernard|
|Editing by||Spencer Reeve|
Hammer Film Productions
Seven Arts Productions
|Distributed by||Warner-Pathé (UK)
20th Century Fox (US)
|Running time||95 minutes|
The Devil Rides Out, known as The Devil's Bride in the United States, is a 1968 British horror film, based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Dennis Wheatley. It was written by Richard Matheson and directed by Terence Fisher. The film stars Christopher Lee, Leon Greene, Charles Gray, Patrick Mower and Nike Arrighi.
Set in London and the south of England in 1929, the story finds the Duc de Richleau (Christopher Lee) investigating the strange actions of the son of a friend, Simon Aron, who has a house complete with strange markings and a pentagram. He quickly deduces that Simon is involved with the Occult. Richleau and Rex van Rijn rescue Simon and another young initiate, Tanith, from a devil worshipping cult. During the rescue they disrupt a ceremony on Salisbury Plain in which Satan himself appears. They escape to the home of the Eatons, friends of Richleau and van Rijn, and are followed by the group's leader, Mocata, who has a psychic connection to the two initiates. After visiting the house to discuss the matter and an unsuccessful attempt to influence the initiates to return, Mocata forces Richleau and the other occupants to defend themselves through a night of black magic attacks, ending with the conjuring of the angel of death. Richleau is able to repel the angel, but it kills Tanith instead, as once summoned it must take a life. His attacks defeated, Mocata kidnaps little Peggy. The Duc has Tanith's spirit possess Peggy's mother in order to find Mocata, but they are only able to get a single clue, from which Rex realizes that the cultists are at a house he visited earlier. Simon tries to rescue Peggy on his own, but is recaptured by the cult. The Duc, Richard, and Peggy's family, also try to save her, but they are defeated by Mocata. Suddenly, a powerful force, possibly Hecate, the queen of all witches and ruler of all magic, or Tanith herself, possesses Mrs. Eaton and puts a stop to Peggy's trance. She then leads Peggy in the recitation of a spell, which kills all of the cultists and transforms their coven room into a church. When the Duc and his companions awaken, they discover that the spell Peggy was led into casting has reversed time and changed the future in their favour. Simon and Tanith have survived, while Mocata's spell to conjure the angel of death has been reflected back on him. He now pays the price of loss of life and eternal damnation of his soul for having wrongly summoned the angel of death. Richleau comments that it is God they must be thankful for.
- Christopher Lee as Duc de Richleau
- Charles Gray as Mocata
- Niké Arrighi as Tanith Carlisle
- Leon Greene as Rex van Rijn
- Patrick Mower as Simon Aron
- Sarah Lawson as Marie Eaton
- Paul Eddington as Richard Eaton
- Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Countess
- Rosalyn Landor as Peggy Eaton
- Russell Waters as Malin
First proposed in 1963, the film eventually went ahead four years later once censorship worries over Satanism had eased. Production began on 7 August 1967 and the film starred Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Patrick Mower and Paul Eddington. The screenplay was adapted by Richard Matheson from Wheatley's novel. In the United States the film was retitled The Devil's Bride. Christopher Lee has often stated that of all his vast back catalogue of films this is his favourite and the one he would like to see remade with modern special effects and with him playing a mature Duke de Richleau.
The A-side of British rock band Icarus's debut single, "The Devil Rides Out", was inspired by the advance publicity for the film of the same name. Though the song does not appear in the film, the single's release was timed to coincide with the film's premiere, and the band themselves were invited to the premiere.
- Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, Titan Books, 2007 p 121
- "Cult Movies: The Devil Rides Out". Cult Movies. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 22 October 2007.
- Wells, David (May 2007). In The Marvel World of Icarus [CD booklet]. Wooden Hill. Pages 4–15.
- Rigby, Jonathan, (2000). English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 1-903111-01-3.
- The Devil Rides Out at the Internet Movie Database
- The Devil Rides Out at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Devil Rides Out review on BritMovie.co.uk