To the Devil a Daughter (1976) reviews and overview

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[Total: 6   Average: 3.2/5]

Other reviews:

” …the finale registers well below socko climax standards.” Variety

“The film’s unlikely trump card is Richard Widmark as a credibly sceptical supernatural investigator, who romps through the proceedings with a disarming stoicism … It’s a good deal more interesting than the rest of the possession cycle, but still a disappointment.” David Pirie, Time Out

“Even Christopher Lee, who is used to appearing in spine-chillers beneath his dignity, seems uncomfortable … The film is not only painfully slow, it is also very nasty…” Daily Mail


“The original has been butchered by script and direction so that, despite excellent special effects, the movie emerges as second rate and a waste of its actors’ time and trouble.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook

“The staging of the murders, the occult manifestations and the climatic confrontation … are considerably enhanced by excellent camerawork and Bowie’s special effects, while Widmark and Lee – acting with more fervour than usual at this stage of his career – prove worthy opponents.” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

“Except for a hasty and unsatisfying climax, the movie isn’t really all that bad. It simply isn’t what fans had come to expect of Hammer.” Gary A. Smith, Uneasy Dreams

” …Hammer’s willingness to go all in out distances any shortcomings to story, structure (the truncated and underwhelming ending is sad to watch), and narrative lapses. The norm of the time was to attract big names to horror, and To The Devil managed to score Widmark and Honor Blackman; Lee and Elliott were more attuned and accustomed to the Hammer vibe, so naturally they come off the best with the material.” Daily Dead

” … one of the most under-whelming “devil” movies made in the seventies and certainly a low-point for Hammer studios. Richard Widmark, a fine actor, is gravely miscast as the intrepid hero, and never registers much life, let alone personality. The move wastes time on peripheral characters (such as Honor Blackman’s) who amount to nothing…” John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of the 1970s

“Sykes zooms all over the gloomy landscapes and the final results are pretty good if somewhat muddled.” John Stanley, Creature Features

To the Devil a Daughter Warner Terror Vision VHS

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Cast and characters:

  • Richard Widmark … John Verney
  • Christopher Lee … Father Michael Rayner
  • Honor Blackman … Anna Fountain
  • Denholm Elliott … Henry Beddows
  • Michael Goodliffe … George De Grass
  • Nastassja Kinski … Catherine Beddows
  • Eva Maria Meineke … Eveline de Grass
  • Anthony Valentine … David
  • Derek Francis … The Bishop
  • Constantine Gregory … Kollde
  • Brian Wilde … Black Room Attendant
  • Howard Goorney … Critic
  • Frances de la Tour … Salvation Army Major

Filming locations:

Munich, West Germany
Dashwood Mausoleum, West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire
Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire
Hellfire Caves, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Heathrow Airport
Piccadilly Gallery, 32 Dover Street, Mayfair, London
St. Catharine’s Dock, Wapping
Tower Bridge, London

Offline reading:

English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby

The Facts About a Feature Film: Featuring Hammer Films by Marjorie Bilbow, was published somewhat belatedly, in 1978. It focused on the making of To the Devil a Daughter. Despite the Satanic subject matter, Bilbow’s ‘plain-speaking for beginners’ book was part of careers guide series intended for young people who might wish to join the ailing British film industry!

Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography by Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio

The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn

A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema by David Pirie







To the devil a daughter 10



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