The Omen

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The Omen
Directed by Richard Donner
Produced by Harvey Bernhard
Written by David Seltzer
Starring Gregory Peck
Lee Remick
David Warner
Patrick Troughton
Billie Whitelaw
Harvey Stephens
Leo McKern
Martin Benson
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Editing by Stuart Baird
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) UK June 6, 1976
USA June 25, 1976
Australia December 23, 1976
Running time 111 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English

The Omen is a 1976 American suspense/horror movie set in England. It was directed by Richard Donner. The movie stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick Troughton, Martin Benson, and Leo McKern. A remake, The Omen, was released on June 6, 2006.

This movie has a sequel, Damien: Omen II.

Cast[change | change source]

Casting switch[change | change source]

Dick Van Dyke was once offered the role as Ambassador Thorn, but turned it down because of the movie's violent gory content.[1]

Curse[change | change source]

A series of events happened during the making of The Omen (October 1975 to January 1976) that caused some speculation as to whether or not the film was "cursed".

Separate flights for both actor Gregory Peck and executive producer Mace Neufeld were struck by lightning when flying between the USA and England, and producer Harvey Bernhard was barely missed by a lightning bolt in Rome. A restaurant that Neufeld and Peck were to eat at in England was bombed by the IRA.

A plane hired by the studio to take aerial shots in Israel was switched at the last moment by the airline, and the clients who took the original plane were all killed when it crashed on takeoff. Some time later, a zookeeper who was helping the studio with handling animals was attacked and eaten alive by lions. After working on The Omen, stuntman Alf Joint went on to work on A Bridge Too Far where he was pushed off a building during a stunt gone wrong.

On Friday, August 13, 1976, special effects artist John Richardson was in an accident in the Netherlands while working on A Bridge Too Far, also right after work on The Omen was done. Less than a year after designing the deaths for The Omen, Richardson's car was involved in a major accident which killed and decapitated his female companion, in a way similar to David Warner's death in The Omen. It is rumored that upon stumbling out of his car he saw a road sign that said he was near the town of Ommen, marked 66.6 km away.[2]

There are no road signs in the Netherlands giving distances in fractions of kilometres. Only kilometre markers use fractions. Near Raalte is a junction where the N348 joins the N35. This location currently corresponds with kilometre marker 66.6 on route N348. A road sign stating the direction towards Ommen is less than fifty metres away from this kilometre marker.

A local newspaper named De Stentor did some research into this matter and contacted a former police officer from the area. According to the police officer, the accident indeed took place near Raalte on the N348 between Raalte and Deventer, but not on the location where the 66.6 kilometre marker currently is.

Based on the current location of the marker and the details given by the police officer, another possible scenario is that Richardson was brought to a hospital in Zwolle and crossed the junction of the N348 with the N35. There he may have noticed kilometre marker 66.6, and immediately after that a road sign stating the direction towards Ommen. This may have freaked him out to the point that it became part of the legend of the curse.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Richard Wayne Van Dyke biography at s9.com
  2. "The Omen Curse". Mysendoff.com, April 25, 2012
  3. [1] "Film Curses", Naturalmoney.org

Other websites[change | change source]