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
Eddie Powell (uncredited)
|Music by||James Bernard|
|Edited 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, Charles Gray, Niké Arrighi, Leon Greene and Patrick Mower.
Set in London and the south of England in 1929, the story finds Nicholas, Duc de Richleau, 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. Nicholas de Richleau and Rex Van Ryn manage to rescue Simon and another young initiate, Tanith, from a devil-worshipping cult. During the rescue they disrupt a ceremony on Salisbury Plain in which the Devil (Baphomet) himself appears.
They escape to the home of the Eatons, friends of Richleau and Van Ryn, 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 rescue her, but they are defeated by Mocata. Suddenly, a powerful force (or Tanith herself) begins ruling 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, then 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. Now, he pays the price of loss of life and eternal damnation of his soul for having wrongly summoned the angel of death. Nicholas de Richleau comments that it is God that they must be thankful for.
- Christopher Lee – Nicholas, Duc de Richleau
- Charles Gray – Mocata
- Niké Arrighi – Tanith Carlisle
- Leon Greene – Rex Van Ryn (dubbed by Patrick Allen)
- Patrick Mower – Simon Aron
- Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies – Countess
- Sarah Lawson – Marie Eaton
- Paul Eddington – Richard Eaton
- Rosalyn Landor – Peggy Eaton
- Russell Waters – Malin
- Eddie Powell – The Goat of Mendes (uncredited)
- John Bown – Receptionist
- Yemi Ajibade – African
- Ahmed Khalil – Indian
- Zoe Starr – Indian girl
- Willie Payne – Servant
- Keith Pyott – Max
- Mohan Singh – Mocata's servant
- Liane Aukin – Satanist
- John Falconer – Satanist
- Anne Godley – Satanist
- Richard Scott – Satanist
- Peter Swanwick – Satanist
- Bert Vivian – Satanist
Reviews of the film have been widely favorable. It holds a 93% fresh rating on rotten tomatoes.
[The film] sustains flavor and atmosphere in beautiful color photography[...]. Under Terence Fisher's direction [...] the first 20 minutes are dandy, as a steely aristocrat, played with suave dignity by Christopher Lee, tries to outwit the evil ones[...]. This civilized counterattack [...] and some realistic dialogue, steady the action until a flaring, flapping climax[...]. Aside from Mr. Lee, the acting [...] is much too broad. Still, [...] "The Devil's Bride" does hold together, and superstitious moviegoers could do a lot worse.—Howard Thompson, New York Times Review
Director Terence Fisher has a ball with this slice of black magic, based on the Dennis Wheatley novel. He has built up a suspenseful pic, with several tough highlights, and gets major effect by playing the subject dead straight and getting similar serious performances from his capable cast. Christopher Lee is for once on the side of the goodies.—Staff review, Variety
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
- "The Devil Rides Out (1968)". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Thompson, Howard. "Movie Review: The Devil Rides Out". nytimes.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "Review: ‘The Devil Rides Out’". variety.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- "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