Night of the Demon 1957

American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.

The Cast

Dana Andrews-John Holden
Peggy Cummins-Joanna Harrington
Niall MacGinnis-Doctor Karswell
Maurice Denham-Professor Harrington
Athene Seyler-Mrs. Karswell
Liam Redmond-Mark O'Brien
Reginald Beckwith-Mr. Meek
Ewan Roberts-Lloyd Williamson

The Director: Jacques Tourneur
The Writers: Charles Bennett, Hal E. Chester, M.R. James, Cy Endfield
Music by: Clifton Parker
Certificate : PG

Film Trivia

Jacques Tourneur never planned to show the monster, but to leave it instead to the audience's imagination. However, the studio insisted that the monster be shown, and added it in post-production, allegedly without Tourneur's consent, approval or involvement. "The scenes where we really see the demon were shot without me. All except one: I shot the sequence in the woods where Andrews is pursued by this sort of cloud. [Tourneur himself in Midi-Minuit Fantastique 5.65] + It should have been unveiled bit by bit without it ever really being shown." [in Cinefantsatique; '73.]
Dana Andrews was so impressed with director Jacques Tourneur that when he returned to the United States he had Tourneur direct his next film, The Fearmakers (1958).
Ray Harryhausen was contacted to create the effect scenes with the demon, but he was already committed to his project The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) with producer Charles H. Schneer.
Joanna Harrington's license plate includes the numbers "666", the traditional "number of the Beast".
The line of dialogue "It's in the trees! It's coming!" was sampled and used by Kate Bush for the intro of her 1985 song "Hounds of Love".
In the movie "The 'Burbs (1989)", Tom Hanks' character (Ray) is in his basement with the paranoid neighbor (Art) who is trying to convince him that the Klopeks next door are actually Satanists. When he shows Ray an old book to make his point, take a look at the title and especially the author. "The Theory and Practice of Demonolgy" is supposedly written by none other than Julian Karswell. Someone....perhaps a writer, the director or the props manager was apparently out to pay homage to Curse of the Demon.
Beginning in the 1980s, Columbia Pictures replaced their edited 83-minute U.S. version with the uncut original 95-minute version whilst retaining the U.S. title "Curse of the Demon." The various video releases, and pay-TV showings, have used this restored version. A DVD release contained both versions.
Jacques Tourneur chose Dana Andrews over Robert Taylor for the lead.
This film was mentioned in the opening song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) ("Science Fiction Double Feature"): "Dana Andrews said prunes gave him the runes, but passing them used lots of skills".
Released in the U.S. as the lower half of a double bill with Hammer's The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958).
The source story for this film, "Casting the Runes", was also adapted into a radio play of that name for the anthology radio programme "Escape". The story was also adapted twice for British television, first as an episode of the anthology series "Mystery and Imagination" in 1968, and again as an episode of "ITV Playhouse" in 1979. Of late, it was also ostensibly the plot (and obviously ending) of Sam Raimi's 'Drag Me to Hell (2009)' (2009) credited as written by him and his brother: no mention of even inspired by M.R. James original story, nor even Tourneur's film.
Peggy Cummins' convertible sports car is a Sunbeam Alpine Mark I, manufactured by the Rootes Group in Ryton and Park Royal, London, England from 1953 to 1955, license plate NLJ 666.
In interviews regarding this film, Dana Andrews credits the story to Oliver Onions. The story is actually based on "Casting the Runes" by M.R. James.
The French title for the film "Rendez-vous Avec La Peur," translates as "A Date With Fear" in English.
Charles Bennett was angry at the changes made to his script by producer Hal E. Chester. In an interview, Bennett said "If [Chester] walked up my driveway right now, I'd shoot him dead."
Screenwriter Charles Bennett owned the rights to the original story "Casting the Runes" by M.R. James and wrote a script loosely based on it, using the title The Haunted. He sold the script to independent producer and former child actor Hal E. Chester shortly before going to America. Bennett regretted selling the script, because on arrival in America he was approached by RKO who wanted to purchase his script and allow him to direct the film. Actors Robert Taylor and Dick Powell had been in line for the leading roles if this production had taken place.
Opening credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to the names and characters or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional.