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|The Omen (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 160 reviews)
Sales Rank: 181
Director: Richard Donner
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Label: 20th Century Fox
Format: Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Ntsc
Languages: English (Original Language), Spanish (Subtitled), English (Dubbed)
Rating: R (Restricted)
Running Time: 266 minutes
Number Of Items: 2
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.3
Dimensions (in): 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.7
Release Date: June 20, 2006 (New: This Week)
Theatrical Release Date: June 25, 1976
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After The Exorcist sparked a lengthy trend of supernatural thrillers, this 1976 horror film scored a hit with critics and audiences for mixing gothic horror and mystery into its plot about a young boy suspected of being the personification of the anti-Christ. (No doubt it's a favorite of shock-rocker Marilyn Manson.) Directed by Richard Donner (best known for his Superman and Lethal Weapon films), The Omen gained a lot of credibility from the casting of Gregory Peck and Lee Remick as a distinguished American couple living in England, whose young son Damien bears "the mark of the beast." Mysterious deaths and unexplained incidents draw the attention of a photographer (David Warner), whose investigation leads to the young boy--and also to the photographer's shocking decapitation (in a scene that has since been inducted into the horror hall of fame). At a time when graphic gore had yet to dominate the horror genre, this film used its violence discreetly and to great effect, and the mood of dread and potential death is masterfully maintained. It's all a bit hokey, with a lot of biblical portent and sensational fury, but few would deny it's highly entertaining. Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-winning score works wonders to enhance the movie's creepy atmosphere. --Jeff Shannon
The first film in classic, four-part legacy of terror stars Gregory Peck as an ambassador who is talked into switching his wife's (Lee Remick) stillborn baby with an orphaned infant. When young Damien is Five, the horror begins with his nanny's dramatic suicide. As the death toll escalates, Damien's father, realizing his son is the antichrist, decides that he must kill the boy and rid the world of the evil.
Customer Reviews: Read 155 more reviews...
Well-acted and Dead-serious June 21, 2006
2 out of 2 found this review helpful
This is not the only DVD of The Omen to come out, but it is (so far) the unholy grail. The two-disk set is so jam-packed with additional material and goodies, it's sinful.
The 1976 hit movie has aged gracefully, effortlessly weaving a web of horror and suspense around The Thorns -- Robert (Gregory Peck) and Katherine (Lee Remick), and their adopted 5-year-old son, Damien (Harvey Stephens). A chain of events is set into motion on the boy's birthday, when his nanny (Holly Palance), commits suicide in front of all the party guests proclaiming, "It's all for you, Damien!"
A few days later a new governess, Mrs. Blaylock (Billie Whitelaw), comes into the picture and things go from bad to worse. The victims of horrid deaths, er, I mean the supporting cast, is excellent. David Warner plays a photographer who's seeing developments he doesn't like; Patrick Troughton plays a Catholic priest who claims Damien is the antichrist; and Leo McKern is the man with the means to put an end to Damien forever.
The Omen is an unpretentious, cleanly and beautifully filmed movie, well-acted and dead-serious in its approach to the primal-level frightening material.
Fans will be glad to know that the flick's been completely remastered and purists will be mollified with the choice of the original mono track. You can also choose the new Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix, and there are closed captions in English (dubbed tracks include French and Spanish).
Commentary 1 -- Director Richard Donner; film editor, Stuart Baird. This track was previously released on another version of The Omen, but I hadn't heard it before. The commentary is mostly screen-specific but the pair also goes into great detail about the behind-the-scenes making of the film.
Commentary 2 -- Director Richard Donner; Donner; film. Why fellow director but otherwise totally unconnected Helgeland is included here is never explained... but, Helgeland has written and/or directed movies under the Fox banner, and it seems he and Donner are friendly, so I guess that's it. The two disagree on some points about the deeper meanings and messages of the movie (and Donner even disagrees with himself, if you listened to the previous, older commentary), but that's OK. It's all in fun. Both men agree that it was Peck's gravitas that grounded the movie in reality. The actor had recently lost his own son, so the storyline of a man having to kill his child was pretty heavy.
Donner talks about the history of David Seltzer's script (originally called The Antichrist), and how the first draft that was presented to him had a lot of devil imagery, including horns, cloven hooves, and the whole bit. He said he brought it way down from that, choosing to view it as a suspense/thriller. He also talks about "The Omen Curse" and all the bad things that happened on the set (not mention seeing Ed Begley's ghost!) -- one of the most compelling stories involves some ferocious animals at the safari where one of the scenes was shot.
Curse, or Coincidence? -- A short featurette (previously released) that intermixes film clips with the musing of the director, producers, and religious advisor on the movie. Donner pragmatically states that horror movies always beget scary tales, while those having worked on a comedy remember all the funny stuff, and film crews and actors who've done romantics dramas recall all the hookups and breakups that went on. That makes sense, but some of the things that happened on The Omen are mighty creepy! (And, according to Donner, 100% verifiable.) There are scary little things that happened along the way, but there are also some stories about deaths... the freakiest one is about the special effects guy, John Richardson, who rigged the beheading on The Omen. The following year, he was driving with his girlfriend, and at the mile marker 6.66 kilometers, the car crashed, decapitating her.
Jerry Goldsmith On The Omen Score -- is also a carry-over (since I never saw of the previous Omen DVDs, it's all new to me) showing the late composer in his studio, reminiscing about four specific pieces of music: Love Theme; Damien to Church; Dog Attack; and 666 & Mrs. Baylock. It's interesting to learn about the influence of Jaws on the score, and how the vocals for the soundtrack album came together.
Original Theatrical Trailer -- The clip starts off showing the idyllic marriage, the happy childhood, then, the narrator intones gravely, "When the child was five years old, something happened..." da-da-da! Goes the music. "And then... it happened again." Scary scenes follow, giving away almost all the deaths. "20th Century Fox presents a film of psychological suspense..." And so on. Good 70s stuff.
Introduction From Richard Donner -- Seems odd to have the director's intro on the disc that the movie is not on, but I've always thought these intros were a little odd anyway. Donner seems somewhat uncomfortable having to do it, but as he speaks, scenes from the film are shown. It runs about a minute and change.
666: The Omen Revealed -- This featurette was on a previous disc, but for those who haven't seen it, it's a truly interesting, in-depth (45 minutes long) look inside the movie. Donner once again say he didn't want to make a horror movie, preferring the words "suspense" or "thriller." "I didn't want to make a horror movie, it wouldn't have worked," he says. It's interesting to learn how he got Peck to come out of retirement to star in The Omen. The producers and religious advisor are back to add their .02 and share their recollections, and they all (separately) muse on the demonic aspects, numerology, themes of duality, insanity, the curse, and so on.
Donner reveals how Stephens won the role of Damien (by kicking him in the balls!), and how he decided to dye the naturally blonde boy's hair and to have him wear contact lenses for certain scenes to eerily enhance his eye color.
The Omen Legacy -- Over 90 minutes of pure demonic fun, produced in part by the AMC Channel and narrated by Jack Palance (whose daughter, Holly, played the hanged nanny in the movie). This doc was broadcast on cable, but it's great to have it here, commercial-free. The show starts off with a brief overview of Hollywood's first Biblical films, how the devil came into vogue in the 60s (Rosemary's Baby is cited as one of the catalysts), and how the first Omen came to fruition. Nearly everyone available who was involved in the film talk about it, and so do some random but interesting folks ranging from a minister to a high priestess from The Church of Satan. The doc explores all of The Omen movies to date (at the time, 2001) and even the short-lived TV series.
A Deleted Scene (in the graveyard, with the dogs)
An Appreciation - Wes Craven On The Omen
The Screenwriter's Notebook
Photo Gallery -- Hundreds of stills, the familiar and the rare
Review of the new special edition June 21, 2006
I have a weird obsession with the first 2 Omen films, and own the DVD boxed set, so I've seen the DVD quite a few times. This special edition includes everything from the first release: Richard Donner's commentary, a deleted scene, the featurette on all the weird coincidences & tragedies that happened around the filming, and the just over 40 minute documentary on the making of the film.
The new features added- not including the spiffy new slip case cover and spooky white cover- are as follows. We get a short introduction from director Donner, a 20 minute featurette that is basically Wes Craven talking about why he likes the film so much. Kind of random stuff, but the thing that made me upgrade is the new, just under 2 hour documentary. It's narrated by Jack Palance- that's worth the money right there- and goes into detail of how it started as an idea as "The Anti-Christ", then "The Birthmark" and finally the completed "The Omen."
This re-release was obviously done to promote the new remake, but they actually make it worth your while. The packaging really is nice, and for fans of the Omen or those interested in the odd happenings that surround it- this is a worthy addition to your collection. For those of you who haven't seen this film before- don't base your judgement on the remake. This is a classy but fast-paced intelligent thriller/horror film, with amazing acting (especially from Gregory Peck) wonderful music and cinematography. The 6/6/06 date has passed, but until the world really does end you should enjoy this cool release and enjoy a time before obvious and tacky CGI jumps were considered "horror".
Simply Scary June 20, 2006
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
This classic horror movie depicts a story of a young boy who is mysteriously born into this world and adopted by a US ambassador. It all starts on the sixth month, sixth day, sixth hour, a woman gives birth to a still born baby, and as well as another baby is born at the exact same time . The woman's husband, Robert Thorn, doesn't want his beloved wife to know what had happened, so he agrees to switch the two babies, because the other mother had apparently died giving birth. Little do the parents know but their son is actually the devil's spawn.
This movie plays with the viewers mind. Along with the creepy music and twisted plot, it keeps the viewer intrigued with the film. The reason why this movie has made its mark in history is because of the simplicity it possesses, which is what makes it so frightening. The Omen works with everybody's most known fear, the devil, and the birth of the anti-Christ, the end of the world. It's the classic battle of good and evil. Except in this movie, evil is in the form of a child. It's the simple notion of the devil taking over our world, and everybody who will get in the way will die of mysterious deaths. The fashion in which the deaths occur can leave some people quite shocked, it is something that you often times wouldn't expect from a film this old.
With the recent release of the Omen this year, which coincidently came out on June 6th of this year, 666, just goes to show how much this movie has impacted us throughout the years. People are still intrigued by The Omen's storyline and simple horror it gives us. If you enjoy watching great and timeless horror movies, it is almost guaranteed you will enjoy this movie.
Scary Movie but Release Date Missed the Boat June 15, 2006
3 out of 3 found this review helpful
The Omen scared the devil out of me (no pun intended) when I saw it in the theatre. I remember sitting there with sweaty palms as my pulse kept pumping faster and faster. Every time I see this movie (and I've watched it a ton of times), it still evokes flight or fight response.
Even when nothing scary is happening, once the plot gets going, the story and the great music score give you this horrible sense of forboding that at any minute the absolute worst is about to happen. I feel my blood pressure going up just thinking about it.
This movie is infinitely better than our modern slice and dice slasher movies because it was about something more than an excuse to exhibit carnage.
I do have one question though -- how in heaven's name (this pun IS intended) did the distributor miss the obvious? This should have been released on June 6, 2006. What were they thinking?
"make no mistake,this is not a human child" carl bugenhagen to robert thorn June 15, 2006
3 out of 4 found this review helpful
this is one of the best horror movies ever made! the air of creepy doom that hangs over this tale of evil reaches into your soul and with a cold hand grabs your nerves and doesn't let go till the bitter end.
gregory peck and lee remick are robert and kathy thorn,a rich and powerful politician and his wife and as the film open they are looking foward to the birth of their first child(they have lost at least one to a miscarrage)! when thorn gets to the hospital he finds his son died just after birth and he fears it will send his wife over the edge,when the most sinster priest in history who tells him a mother has had her baby and died at almost the same time so why not raise the boy she had as his own.
flash forward four years,thorn is now the ambassador to england and his boy is just the sweetest thing you can believe. at his fourth birthday party his nanny,in front of all the guest and children,calls the boys name "damien it's all for you" as they all turn she jumps from the roof of the house and hangs herself and this thriller is off and running. more deaths(always done so as to be "accidents" and that way you never are really sure if it's evil or just bad luck)follow and we watch the mind of mr.thorn slip into the horror of what he has brought into his family and the world! like i said, this is one of the scariest movies made! the sence of doom and the feeling that all involved with damien(the boys name)are really not able to understand or really fight this unearthly evil.
the print is very crisp and the extras are great,so if you love horror movies that offer a little brains with there fright,this is the one you want. and a word about the final 20 mins.,don't close your eyes and have the lights on because it is the most frighting and creepy endings of all time(love the final shot!!!!!!) one of the best!!!!