HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Eye of the Devil Grapes Of WrathBuy this film here.
Year: 1966
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Donald Pleasence, Edward Mulhare, Flora Robson, Emlyn Williams, Sharon Tate, David Hemmings, John Le Mesurier, Michael Miller, Donald Bisset, Pauline Letts, Robert Duncan, Suky Appleby
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Catherine de Montfaucon (Deborah Kerr) is in London with her French nobleman husband Philippe (David Niven), where they spend most of their time, in fact they haven't been to visit France since before their two children were born. But that is all about to change, as tonight as they listen to a harp recital at a gathering held in their home, a man arrives from the village where Philippe's vineyard is situated and he has bad news: the crop has failed yet again, and something drastic will have to be done to ensure it does not happen this year - but Catherine fails to realise how drastic...

The effect of watching Eye of the Devil is less interesting than the stories that sprung up about it. The film suffered at the hands (or scissors) of the censors for one thing, and rumours about the occult power of that missing footage grew up around it, undoubtedly unfounded but when one of the film's stars, Sharon Tate, was the victim of a dreadful murder three years after making this there were those who liked to make a link between the fictional black magic goings-on here and the real life horrors of the Manson Family, especially as her husband Roman Polanski had made the ultimate devil-worship film Rosemary's Baby around the same time.

But really, Eye of the Devil does not bear the weight of these rumours, and on watching it you can see how far apart the filmmakers' aims to chill the blood and the actual results were. Funnily enough, although there are marked similarities between this and Kerr's previous horror classic The Innocents, she was not the first choice for the role: Kim Novak was to have starred, but for various reasons was judged not to be up to the part and was let go. But where Kerr's previous black and white supernatural suspense piece was undeniably effective, here it seems like a flimsy excuse to freak the actress out for an hour and a half.

At least the film looks good thanks to Erwin Hillier's atmospheric photography, going some way to working up an oppressive mood, yet you can't help but compare his efforts to the Freddie Francis work on that other movie. Once Catherine and her children reach the country mansion of her husband, the spookiness can begin in earnest, and it grows clearer that things are building up to a twist. That's what you might be expecting, but what really happens is once you know what the townsfolk have in mind, that is precisely what happens with no big revelations and no sudden shocks. Perhaps Catherine's dashed efforts to prevent what happens were supposed to be adequate.

At least the cast was interesting, so even if Kerr's performance leaned to heavily on the frightened woman cliché we did get to see David Niven acting sinister, not something he was accustomed to in most of his films. Actually, he doesn't appear that much and is almost a supporting character, with the two children playing his offspring securing more screen time than he does. Also cast against type as menacing is John Le Mesurier, but when Donald Pleasence appears as the local priest, you're not taken aback at how he turns out. Tate (dubbed with an English accent) and David Hemmings play a spacey brother and sister who are involved with witchcraft of some description, with Hemmings ominously carrying a bow and arrows which he uses to shoot doves from the sky, and worse, but they are merely part of a much-reworked screenplay which strains for foreboding significance yet somehow falls short. There's a good idea in this somewhere - a fact not lost on the makers of The Wicker Man, as many viewers have noticed. Music by Gary MacFarland.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3969 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

J. Lee Thompson  (1914 - 2002)

Veteran British director frequently in Hollywood, usually with stories featuring an adventure or thriller slant. Among his many films, including a number of Charles Bronson movies, are Yield to the Night, Ice Cold in Alex, North West Frontier, the original Cape Fear, Tiger Bay, The Guns of Navarone, What a Way To Go!, Eye of the Devil, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Happy Birthday to Me.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: