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  1. #1
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    Eye of The Devil was released in 1967 I believe, starring David Niven and some other well knowns, including the tragic Sharon Tate. Director was J. Lee-Thompson.

    Apparently it was a pretty dire movie, but I'm doing some research and am interested to hear more about it, such as why Kim Novak pulled out of it to be replaced by Deborah Kerr. Halliwell says it was abandoned and later restarted due to the 'inadequacy' of Kim Novak, and went through three title changes before release. The comment about Kim Novak seems a little nasty to me as another report read says she had a bad back injury due to a horse riding accident, and that is the reason she pulled out. Anyone able to set the record straight? And say if the film is as bad as some say it is? Halliwell gives it one star so cannot be THAT bad.

  2. #2
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sturmvogel@May 18 2005, 11:25 AM

    Eye of The Devil was released in 1967 I believe, starring David Niven and some other well knowns, including the tragic Sharon Tate. Director was J. Lee-Thompson.

    Apparently it was a pretty dire movie, but I'm doing some research and am interested to hear more about it, such as why Kim Novak pulled out of it to be replaced by Deborah Kerr. Halliwell says it was abandoned and later restarted due to the 'inadequacy' of Kim Novak, and went through three title changes before release. The comment about Kim Novak seems a little nasty to me as another report read says she had a bad back injury due to a horse riding accident, and that is the reason she pulled out. Anyone able to set the record straight? And say if the film is as bad as some say it is? Halliwell gives it one star so cannot be THAT bad.
    It's not so much badly made or performed as a very strange script.

    There are hints of what was to come in The Wicker Man in the story but it wasn't as well done here and the story wasn't as clear or believable. This one tries too hard to be mysterious when some good character development would have made it much better.



    Steve

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Steve. I just read on another site that David Hemmings' autobiography published a year or two back (is he dead now?) mentions the movie and Kim Novak having an angry altercation with director and producers and either being fired or walking. seems like she was well out of it. I've always had a lot of time for Novak and she seems the type who wouldn't put up with being given a lousy film and exploited. Hemmings of course was involved with Just a Gigolo which Kim was also in.

  4. #4
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    Eye of the Devil





    Has anyone seen a film called Eye of the Devil ? It starred David Niven and Deborah Kerr and was made at MGM at Borehamwood c 1966 . It seems to have been infamous for scene in which Niven whips actress Sharon Tate and which the censor wanted cut. I'm not sure if it's on DVD as it's not available to rent from LOVEFILM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Jamie,yes a very atmospheric piece shot in France and also featuring David Hemmings.

  6. #6
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    It's a superbly atmospheric, fatalistic doom-laden thriller, with an exceptional cast and stunning camerawork. Well worth seeking out, and better than the reviewers would have you believe.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold
    It's a superbly atmospheric, fatalistic doom-laden thriller, with an exceptional cast and stunning camerawork. Well worth seeking out, and better than the reviewers would have you believe.
    I saw it in a theater in Brussels many years ago, and again on television and video. Unfortunately, when it was shown on TCM-France, it was in full screen, so only half of the original image ratio was visible. A real massacre, as the original ratio was CinemaScope or something like it.

  8. #8
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    Kim Novak started filming in the main role.However she was involved in a car accident and had to withdraw from the film.As a result all of her scenes had to be refilmed with Deborah Kerr.The insurers must have been happy!

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    On a trivia note I was at university with the adult version of the boy actor credited I believe as Robert Duncan. He had given up acting by then and was very into politics - the Liberal Party as I recall which might explain why we never heard much about his political career!

  10. #10
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    J. Lee Thompson is a very underrated director, I think.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmvogel View Post
    I just read on another site that David Hemmings' autobiography ... mentions the movie and Kim Novak having an
    angry altercation with director and producers and either being fired or walking. seems like she was well out of it.
    The Pittsburgh Press, 22nd December 1965 (Sheilah Graham column)

    Sad to read of more production problems involving Kim, so soon after Of Human Bondage:


  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orpheum View Post
    Kim Novak started filming in the main role.However she was involved in a car accident and had to withdraw from the film.As a result all of her scenes had to be refilmed with Deborah Kerr.The insurers must have been happy!
    I've got notes on this somewhere - but I'm sure a horse was blamed. I am also fairly sure that the accident was not as bad as all that, but Novak milked it to get out of the picture - MGM had to play along to get the insurance money. There was also some hanky panky with David Hemmings.

    I enjoyed this film a lot. One of the last black and white classics.

  13. #13
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    It's been out on the Warner Archive Collection in the USA for some time (the version that I have). There is also a Region 2 French disc, but i'm not sure if the French subtitles are removeable.

  14. #14
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    The version released by the Warner Archive is the full 95m cut. There is also a 90m version which used to play on TCM and has a number of interesting deletions - this was probably the UK theatrical print which didn't turn up in the UK until 1968 but was only 90m long according to contemporary sources.

    David Hemmings' autobiography claims he had an affair with Novak and also that most of the cast got paid twice the money because of the extent of the reshoots when Deborah Kerr came on board. Sharon Tate was Marty Ranschoff's mistress at the time I believe until he made the mistake of telling Roman Polanski to cast her in the lead role in the next Filmways production, The Fearless Vampire Killers (Polanski wanted Jill St John). Tate doesn't have a huge role in Eye of the Devil to be honest.

    I've seen this a couple of times and its not a great film. I am surprised anyone thought it was worth A' movie financing to be frank and a film made as late as 1965/1966 with significant outdoor location shooting in France shouldn't have been shot in black and white.
    Last edited by m35541; 29-07-15 at 01:09 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Crucial dates for my Sixties Diary:


  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK Joe Fraguela's Avatar
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    From my film poster collection here is the UK quad poster release for Eye of The Devil

    [IMG][/IMG]

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