THE OMEN contains some of the most memorable untimely deaths in cinema history.
--The Daily Telegraph
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NO LONGER PLAYING
Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.
THE OMEN (1976)
Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30 PM at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre
Followed by a Q&A with Director Richard Donner
Halloween season begins with our 40th anniversary screening of THE OMEN, a scary smash hit from 1976. Screenwriter David Seltzer was clearly inspired by earlier movies like The Bad Seed, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist, and the enormous success of THE OMEN in turn spawned a whole series of later films about demonic children. Few of them matched the terrifying impact of Richard Donner’s film about a respected diplomat who begins to fear that his adopted son is the Antichrist. The film’s impact was enhanced by eerie cinematography and Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-winning score.
Donner scored a casting coup when he chose two admired actors, Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, to play the unsuspecting parents of the demonic Damien. The classy British supporting cast includes David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, and Leo McKern. In addition to its influence on the horror genre, the film revitalized the career of its Oscar-winning leading man. Our screening is being held in conjunction with the Gregory Peck Centennial, honoring the Hollywood Golden Age actor. After appearing in many acclaimed films throughout the 1940s and 50s, Peck had finally won his Oscar for his memorable performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962. But then he went through a decade-long career slump that began in the late 60s. His box office bankability was revived by THE OMEN. Peck secured the title role in the 1977 MacArthur biopic largely on the strength of its favorable critical and commercial reception.
Joining us for a Q&A after the screening will be the film’s director, Richard Donner. Donner had worked mainly in television before 1976, but the success of THE OMEN thrust him into the front ranks of cinematic auteurs. In 1978 he directed Superman with Christopher Reeve, which became one of the most successful films of its era and really launched the comic book genre that is still going strong today. Donner went on to direct the lucrative Lethal Weapon series and many other popular hits such as Ladyhawke and Conspiracy Theory, along with smaller dramas like Inside Moves and Radio Flyer.
Genre: Anniversary Classics, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Runtime: 101 min
Director: Richard Donner
Writer(s): David Seltzer
Cast: Gregory Peck, Harvey Stephens, Lee Remick