The Devil Rides Out (film)

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The Devil Rides Out
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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
Starring Christopher Lee
Charles Gray
Niké Arrighi
Leon Greene
Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies
Sarah Lawson
Paul Eddington
Rosalyn Landor
Russell Waters
Eddie Powell (uncredited)
Music by James Bernard
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Editing by Spencer Reeve
Studio Associated British-Pathé
Hammer Film Productions
Seven Arts Productions
Distributed by Warner-Pathé (UK)
20th Century Fox (US)
Release dates
  • 20 July 1968 (1968-07-20) (UK)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £285,000[1]

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.

Plot[edit]

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.

Cast[edit]

Uncredited[edit]

Others[edit]

Background[edit]

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.[2]

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.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, Titan Books, 2007 p 121
  2. ^ "Cult Movies: The Devil Rides Out". Cult Movies. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 22 October 2007. 
  3. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]