Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Omen (1976)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Omen (1976)

In Richard Donner's classic supernatural occult horror film of demonic possession - the first part of a trilogy of franchise-films, followed by Damien: Omen II (1978), and The Final Conflict (1981) (aka Omen III); there was also a TV-movie Omen IV: The Awakening (1991) and a remake in 2006; this first film told the mostly-believable story about Satanic conspiracy; it contained a number of cleverly-constructed set-pieces of suspense, revolving around a conspiracy that was being investigated by a well-intentioned, victimized father:

  • the set-up: a local priest in Italy named Father Spiletto (Martin Benson) offered an orphaned infant child (whose mother had died "in the same moment") to US diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck), after his distraught wife Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick) had given birth to a stillborn child in a Rome hospital on June 6, 1966 (6/6/66) at 6:00 am: "Your wife need never know. It would be a blessing to her and to the child"
6/6/66 at 6 am
  • the child was named Damien (Harvey Stephens) [Note: the child was soon revealed to be the Devil's own son, or the Anti-Christ named Damien (Harvey Spencer Stephens) with the 666 mark of the beast - a sign in the form of a birthmark on his scalp]
  • the child was celebrating his 5th birthday party (outdoors) in England (Thorn had been appointed the US Ambassador to Great Britain), when his nanny (Holly Palance) went into a trance when she saw a black Rottweiler on the grounds; she went into the mansion's top attic, tied a noose around her neck, stood out on the ledge of the window, and jumped and hung herself (and shattered the second floor glass windows with her swinging body) after calling out her final words toward Damien who was on a merry-go-round: "Damien, look at me. I'm over here. Damien, I love you. Look at me, Damien. It's all for you"; Damien's view was shielded by his mother Katherine, but he seemed pleased - he waved at the Rottweiler (a protective Hellhound)
The Suicidal Death of 5 Year Old Damien's Young Nanny

"It's All For You!"
  • after the unexpected arrival of a new governess named Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw), she confidently asserted that Damien wouldn't be shy with her: "Not with me, he won't be"; in private, she told Damien: "I am here to protect thee"; she made strange and challenging assertions to the Thorns that Damien shouldn't attend a church service wedding: "Do you really think a five-year-old will understand the goings-on of an Episcopal wedding?" - Damien reacted with frightful reactions and screams (and pulling of his mother's hair) as he arrived by car at the church
  • Catholic priest Father Brennan (Patrick G. Troughton) visited Thorn's office; he had been present during Damien's birth in Rome five years earlier; he warned Thorn that he had adopted Lucifer's son (the son of the devil born of a jackal); he specified an antidote - that Thorn must accept Christ, because only then can he fight the son of the devil: "You must take Communion. Drink the blood of Christ and eat his flesh. Only if he is within you can you defeat the son of the devil....He's killed once. He'll kill again. He'll kill until everything that's yours is his....Only through Christ can you fight him. Accept the Lord Jesus. Drink his blood"
  • during a visit to the Windsor Safari Park by Damien and his mother, the giraffes were spooked and baboons instinctively recognized Damien's devilish-nature; they attacked the car carrying Damien and his mother
  • further severe warnings were offered by Father Brennan to Thorn in Bishop's Park about his endangered family (including pregnant Katherine's unborn child); he also gave instructions for Thorn to kill their child Damien, born of a jackal: ("Go to the town of Megiddo in the old city of Jezreel. There, see the old man Bugenhagen. He alone can say how the child must die...Your son, Mr. Thorn. The son of the devil. He will kill the unborn child, then he will kill your wife, and when he is certain to inherit all that is yours, then, Mr. Thorn, he will kill you...With your power, he will establish his counterfeit kingdom here, receiving his power directly from Satan...He must die, Mr. Thorn")
  • and then in a "bizarre tragedy," the Father was impaled to death during a freak storm outside a church by a heavy steel lightning rod that was struck by lightning, broke off, sailed through the air (like a javelin throw) and skewered him into the ground; the death had been foretold by pictures taken by photographer Keith Jennings (David Warner)
  • pregnant Katherine began to have ominous fantasies described by a therapist, who claimed she had thoughts of terminating her pregnancy: ("She fantasizes that your child is alien and that your child is evil"); in their home while Thorn was out, Damien maniacally pedaled his red and white tricycle and knocked his pregnant mother over the second-floor stairway railing to the menacing sound of ''Ave Satani", causing her to fall, miscarry, and suffer "a concussion and a broken humerus, and, well, some internal bleeding"; recuperating, she was able to tell her husband: "Don't let him kill me"
Tricycle Accident?
  • photographer Jennings informed Thorn of the seemingly-insane Father Brennan's grave condition before his unusual death: "The coroner's report shows that he was riddled with cancer. High on morphine most of the time. Injected himself two or three times a day...Externally, his body was normal, except for one thing on the inside of his right thigh...Three sixes. Six hundred and sixty-six..." - the same numeric configuration of the date of Damien's birth in Rome (6/6/66), and the time of a strange astronomical phenomenon five years earlier in Europe: "A comet changed its shape into a glowing star, like the star of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago" - it was a signal of the birth of the Antichrist, the Devil's child!; the three 6's signified the unholy Diabolical Trinity - the Devil, Antichrist and False Prophet
  • while in Italy after visiting at a remote monastery in Frosinone and speaking to gravely-ill, mute, partly-blind, and badly-burned Father Spiletto (who was present five years earlier in the maternity ward where Damien was born that had since burned down, and destroyed all the birth records), Thorn and Jennings were guided to an ancient Etruscan cemetery known as Cerveteri at the ruins of Cripta Sant'Angelo (50km north of Rome) - the former site of a shrine dedicated to the devil-god Techulca; there during their investigation of Damien's origins, they found the skeletal remains of the Thorns' murdered bambino-child ("They murdered him as soon as he was born") that was swapped with Damien; they also saw the gravesite of Damien's biological mother Maria Scianna; inside the mother's grave, they looked upon the remains of a jackal carcass - the demonic jackal was Damien's inhuman mother; as they left, they were attacked by a pack of vicious black Rottweiler dogs and barely escaped
  • back in the UK, the death of the heavily-sedated and recovering Katherine, after her mysterious nanny replacement, Mrs. Baylock, shoved her out of a high-floor hospital window, and she plunged through the roof of a parked ambulance below
  • the discovery at the underground archaeological diggings at Megiddo by Thorn, after speaking to elderly exorcist Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern), that Damien had to be killed on "hallowed ground" (a church altar preferably); Bugenhagen gave Thorn seven mystical daggers and instructed him on how to kill Damien: "His blood must be spilled on the altar of God. This first knife is most important. It extinguishes physical life and forms the center of the cross"; Thorn also learned that Damien would have the mark of the Beast ("666") somewhere on his body
  • when the reluctant Thorn threw away the knives and vowed not to kill his child, hapless photographer Keith Jennings asserted that he would stab Thorn's evil son Damien himself with one of seven daggers if Thorn couldn't do it ("If you don't do it, I will"); but then Jennings met his demise; he was decapitated during a freakish accident when a sheet of plate glass sliced through his neck; it flew off a truck that lost its brakes when parked on a slight incline; the vehicle gathered speed as it went out of control; the sheet of plate glass flew off the open flat-bed of the truck and sliced cleanly through Jennings' neck; it sent his spinning body-less head flying through the air; the head ended up resting on the ground where it could view itself in reflected glass
  • Thorn returned home with the seven knives; in the concluding climax, Thorn cut off some of Damien's hair to locate the "666" marking on his scalp, to reveal his true identity; he also fought off Mrs. Baylock ("an apostate of Hell") and stabbed her with both a carving fork and screwdriver in the neck, and then bloodied himself, dragging his screaming son away in his speeding car to a nearby church altar to sacrifice him, according to Bugenhagen's instructions, with the seven mystical daggers from Megiddo (a derivative of the word "Armageddon" and the site of an archaeological dig outside Jerusalem)
  • inside the church, Thorn was shot to death by police (in pursuit for speeding) as he raised his hand with the first dagger

Damien's Menacing Smile
Thorn's Failed Attempt to Kill Damien on Altar
  • a double-Thorn funeral (for Thorn and his wife) was held at Arlington National Cemetery attended by the US President (off-screen), Robert's brother, who had adopted Damien - the menacing devil-child stood next to him during the ceremony, and then turned back to look at the camera while smiling, as the film ended
  • the epilogue (with white letters on black): "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666. Book of Revelation Chapter 13 Verse 18"

Warning from Father Brennan to Thorn

Governess Mrs. Baylock

Damien's Reaction to Church

Windsor Safari Park Babboons Attacked Car

Father Brennan Skewered by a Steel Rod

Jennings - Discovery of a Birthmark on Father Brennan's Inner Thigh: 666

Badly-Scarred and Burned Father Spiletto

Attack by Vicious Rottweiler Dogs in Ancient Etruscan Cemetery in Italy

Murder of Katherine Thorn by Mrs. Baylock

Exorcist Bugenhagen with Seven Daggers

Head Decapitation of Keith Jennings

Thorn's Murder of Protective Mrs. Baylock


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