To the Devil a Daughter

1976

Horror

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 44%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 38%
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 2945

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Christopher Lee as Father Michael Raynor
Honor Blackman as Anna Fountain
Frances de la Tour as Salvation Army Major
Nastassja Kinski as Catherine Beddows
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
758.54 MB
1204*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 15
1.46 GB
1792*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Witchfinder General 666 6 / 10

Satanic Late Hammer Flick

"To The Devil A Daughter" of 1976 is on of the last films from the great Hammer studios, and, as it seems, it was a disappointment to many of my fellow Hammer fans. For understandable reasons, since this is the second of two Hammer films about Satanism and black magic based on novels by Dennis Wheatley. Both films star Christopher Lee and the first, namely "The Devil Rides Out" of 1968 is easily one of the most brilliant films ever released by this great Production Company. And "To The Devil A Daughter" can not nearly compete with "The Devil Rides Out", but, as far as I am considered it is still a creepy film that is more than worth watching for a Horror fan.

The performances are exceptional, and I am not only talking about the great Christopher Lee. Lee is brilliant as always, of course, but the cast includes quite a bunch of other great actors. Richard Widmark also delivers a great performance and so do Denholm Eliott, Michael Goodliffe and the great Honor Blackman. Young Nastassia Kinski is also exceptional in one of her very first roles. The cinematography is great, and the film is often very eerie, but it sadly lacks the wonderful Gothic atmosphere that Hammer fans love so much. The film has atmosphere, no doubt, but sadly not the typical Hammer-style. This may be the main reason why many fellow Hammer fans are disappointed with the film. And it was also the lack of Gothic elements that I disliked about the film. But even though it is definitely one of the lesser films from Hammer and it may disappoint on a certain level, the film is definitely a creepy flick that fans of the studios should not miss. If you expect a shining finale to 20 years of brilliant Hammer rule, you run risk of being disappointed. Just expect a creepy little film with a great cast and enjoy!

Reviewed by Carl S Lau 7 / 10

This is NOT a third rate horror movie!

This is not a film for the occult horror film aficionado. "To the Devil...a Daughter" has already received a few whithering reviews that are all justified. Dennis Wheatley, the author of the book, condemned it because there was little resemblance to his novel and what appears on screen, except for the title. Currently available on wide screen 16X9 anamorphic transfer, the DVD contains a 24 minute documentary with recent commentary by Peter Sykes, the director, and Roy Skeggs, the producer. "To the Devil...a Daughter" is a well done film that demonstrates what a first rate director is capable of with a limited budget. This film turns out to be the horror film equivalent of "Casablanca" because the movie as originally scripted was not filmable. Hence, with the start of production, the script was continually being written on a day to day basis by Gerald Vaughan-Hughes, an uncredited screen writer. "To the Devil...a Daughter" followed the genre setting "The Exorcist" and "Rosemary's Baby" and was the last Hammer film because it was too little and too late.

"To the Devil...a Daughter" is one of the earliest Nastassja Kinski films and must have been seen by Roman Polanski who realized her potential. It is not a chessey film, but does have a few pieces of cheese in it. The most obvious one is the full frontal nudity scene of a very young Nastassja. Yes, it is cheesey, but from an editing view, is more shocking than titillating. In her first scene, it is apparent that there is more than a passing resemblance between Nastassja and Ingrid Bergman - innocent, clean beauties. In one of the scenes, Nastassja was having a problem actually getting the tears that the director wanted and there had been quite a few retakes. Richard Widmark said to the director, "when I say turnover, turnover, it's going to happen." Sykes started the film rolling and Widmark hit her right "in the chops" and the tears came and he said, "OK, now act." The cast is first rate and included Richard Widmark (who was pretty disgusted with the film and threatened to walk out on it), Christopher Lee (of horror film fame), Honor Blackman a renown actress at the time in Britain (known to American audiences as Pussy Galore of the James Bond "Goldfinger," and Denholm Elliot as the German bad guy in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

It is best to watch "To the Devil...a Daughter" with no expectations and let the film naturally unfold, without preconceived mental baggage. If one is steeped in the occult traditions, then this movie is not for you because of its glaring errors - all made up by the afore mentioned screen writer. Otherwise, the mood of the picture is quickly set by Richard Widmark's,

"98% of so called satanist are nothing but pathetic freaks who get their kicks out of dancing naked in freezing church yards and use the devil as an excuse for getting some sex, but then there is that other 2%, I'm not so sure about them."

Christopher Lee's role as the maniacal, ex-communicated priest brings to mind the great performance of Boris Karloff as Imhotep in the 1932 "The Mummy," who had the supernatural power to project thought over space and time. "To the Devil...a Daughter" is well paced with its race against time.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 7 / 10

Hammer's horror swansong.

Popular occult author Dennis Wheatley was so pleased with Hammer's 1968 movie version of his novel The Devil Rides Out that he happily agreed to them making further adaptations of his work, even going so far as to granting the rights for nothing. It was an offer that, eventually, the ailing studio could not afford to ignore.

Choosing to develop To The Devil A Daughter, however, was probably a bad decision: budgetary constraints meant that a faithful interpretation of Wheatley's book was impossible to achieve, and after much script wrangling, filming went ahead whilst further revisions were still being made.

To add to Hammer's problems, star Widmark was not a happy bunny on set, being displeased with the non-Hollywood film making process employed by director Peter Sykes and his crew.

However, despite all the problems, somehow, eventually, a finished product was delivered—only to suffer from some hasty re-editing when some bright spark commented that the original ending bore too much resemblance to that of an earlier Hammer movie, Scars of Dracula. With such a troubled production, To The Devil A Daughter is an understandably less than perfect film, but despite its flaws, it still proves to be an entertaining dose of Satanic nonsense.

Widmark plays John Verney, an American occult novelist who is approached by a strange man named Henry Beddows (Denholm Elliot), who claims to be involved with a cult named The Children of the Lord, led by the sinister Father Michael Rayner (Christopher Lee, in fine form). Intrigued, Verney agrees to pick up Beddows' daughter Catherine (Nastassja Kinski) from the airport and look after her until they can meet again. In reality, Beddows is trying to protect his daughter from Rayner, who selected the girl at birth for a ritual—scheduled to take place on her impending 18th birthday—that will see her becoming an avatar for the demon Astaroth.

With such a great cast (that also includes Honor Blackman), and Wheatley's well researched black magic mumbo jumbo forming the basis of the script, To The Devil A Daughter trundles along quite nicely for the majority of its running time, offering audiences plenty of fun devilish goings-on, including the nasty birth of a demon child (which exits via the abdomen), Blackman being stabbed in the neck with a metal comb, one poor character going up in flames, Lee terrorising a trembling Elliot over the phone, and the lovely Nastassja giving viewers an eyeful of her hot bod.

Unfortunately, the messy finalé (which sees Lee's character disappear mysteriously after receiving a bump on the head) does mean that the film closes on something of a bum note and admittedly cannot hold a (black) candle to the real Satanic hit of '76, The Omen, but it's also nowhere near as bad as some Hammer fans would have you believe.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.

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