The Omen
An original score for the film, including the movie's theme song Ave Satani
Ave Satani
"Ave Satani" is the theme song to the film The Omen composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The Omen won an Oscar for Best Score, with Ave Satani nominated for Best Song, one of the few foreign language songs ever to be nominated....

, was composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

, for which he received the only Oscar
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 of his long career. The score features a strong choral segment, with a foreboding Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 chant. The refrain to the chant is, "Sanguis bibimus, corpus edimus, tolle corpus Satani" (Latin, "We drink the blood, we eat the flesh, raise the body of Satan"), interspersed with cries of "Ave Satani!" and "Ave Versus Christus" (Latin, "Hail, Satan
Hail Satan
"Hail Satan", sometimes expressed in a Latinized version as Ave Satanas is an expression used by some Satanists to show their dedication to Satan, but has also been used for the purpose of comedy or satire. Believers in backmasking think they can hear "Hail Satan" and other messages to Satan in...

!" and "Hail, Antichrist!"). Aside from the choral work, the score includes lyrical themes portraying the pleasant home life of the Thorn family, which are contrasted with the more disturbing scenes of the family's confrontation with evil.
  1. "Ave Satani
    Ave Satani
    "Ave Satani" is the theme song to the film The Omen composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The Omen won an Oscar for Best Score, with Ave Satani nominated for Best Song, one of the few foreign language songs ever to be nominated....

    " – 2:32
  2. "New Ambassador" – 2:33
  3. "Killer's Storm" – 2:51
  4. "Sad Message" – 1:42
  5. "Demise of Mrs. Baylock" – 2:52
  6. "Don't Let Him" – 2:48
  7. "Piper Dreams" – 2:39
  8. "Fall" – 3:42
  9. "Safari Park" – 2:04
  10. "Dog's Attack" – 5:50
  11. "Homecoming" – 2:43
  12. "Altar" – 2:00

On October 9, 2001, a deluxe version of the soundtrack was released with eight additional tracks.
  1. "Ave Satani" – 2:35
  2. "On This Night" – 2:36
  3. "The New Ambassador" – 2:34
  4. "Where Is He?" – :56
  5. "I Was There" – 2:27
  6. "Broken Vows" – 2:12
  7. "Safari Park" – 3:24
  8. "A Doctor, Please" – 1:44
  9. "The Killer Storm" – 2:54
  10. "The Fall" – 3:45
  11. "Don't Let Him" – 2:49
  12. "The Day He Died" – 2:14
  13. "The Dog's Attack" – 5:54
  14. "A Sad Message" – 1:44
  15. "Beheaded" – 1:49
  16. "The Bed" – 1:08
  17. "666" – :44
  18. "The Demise of Mrs. Baylock" – 2:54
  19. "The Altar" – 2:07
  20. "The Piper Dreams" – 2:41

Box office performance

The Omen was a massive commercial success in the United States. It grossed $4,273,886 in its opening weekend and $60,922,980 domestically on a tight budget of $2,800,000. The film was the fourth highest grossing movie of 1976
1976 in film
The year 1976 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*March 22 - Filming begins on George Lucas' Star Wars science fiction film...


Critical reception

The Omen received mostly positive reviews from critics and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1976, as well as one of the best horror films ever made. The film holds an 82% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

. The movie boasted a particularly disturbing scene, in which a character willingly and joyfully hangs herself at a birthday party attended by young children. It also features a violent decapitation scene (caused by a horizontal sheet of plate glass), one of mainstream Hollywood's first: "If there were a special Madame Defarge
Madame Defarge
Madame Thérèse Defarge is a fictional character in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. She is a tricoteuse, a tireless worker for the French Revolution and the wife of Ernest Defarge....

 Humanitarian Award for best decapitation," wrote Kim Newman
Kim Newman
Kim Newman is an English journalist, film critic, and fiction writer. Recurring interests visible in his work include film history and horror fiction—both of which he attributes to seeing Tod Browning's Dracula at the age of eleven—and alternate fictional versions of history...

 in Nightmare Movies (1988), "this lingering, slow-motion sequence would get my vote."

On the flip side, The Omen appeared in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time
The Fifty Worst Films of All Time
The Fifty Worst Films of All Time is a 1978 book by Harry Medved, with Randy Dreyfuss and Michael Medved. This book represents choices for the 50 worst sound films ever made, in alphabetical order...

1978 by Harry Medved (co-author of the Golden Turkey Awards) and Randy Dreyfuss.

The Omen received recognition from the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

. It was ranked number 81 on 100 Years... 100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding films. and the score by Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

 was nominated for AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores is a list of the top 25 film scores in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute in 2005.-The List:-External links:**...

. The film was ranked #16 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Similarly, the Chicago Film Critics' Association
Chicago Film Critics Association
The Chicago Film Critics Association is an American film critic association.-Members:Current members include:*Sarah Knight Adamson*Zbigniew Banas*Shelley Cameron*Dave Canfield*Vittorio Carli*Erik Childress*Camerin Courtney*Bonnie DeShong...

 named it the 31st scariest film ever made.

Awards and nominations

The film received numerous accolades for its acting, writing, music and technical achievements. Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

 won the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

 and received an additional nomination for Best Original Song
Academy Award for Best Original Song
The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film...

 for "Ave Satani
Ave Satani
"Ave Satani" is the theme song to the film The Omen composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The Omen won an Oscar for Best Score, with Ave Satani nominated for Best Song, one of the few foreign language songs ever to be nominated....

". Goldsmith's score was also nominated for a Grammy
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture
Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
The Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media has been awarded since 1960. Until 2001 the award was presented to the composer of the music alone. From 2001 to 2006, the producer and engineers shared in this award...

. Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw
Billie Honor Whitelaw, CBE is an English actress. She worked in close collaboration with Irish playwright Samuel Beckett for 25 years and is regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of his works...

 was nominated for a BAFTA
British Academy Film Awards
The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . It is the British counterpart of the Oscars. As of 2008, it has taken place in the Royal Opera House, having taken over from the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square...

 film award for Best Supporting Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding supporting performance in a film...

 for her performance. She was also awarded the Evening Standard British Film Award
Evening Standard British Film Awards
The Evening Standard British Film Awards were established in 1973 by the British London area evening newspaper Evening Standard. The Standard Awards is the only ceremony "dedicated to British and Irish talent," judged by a panel of "top UK critics." Each ceremony honours films from the previous...

 for Best Actress. The film also received recognition by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
Hollywood Foreign Press Association
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is an organization composed of working journalists who cover the United States film industry for a variety of outlets, including newspapers and magazines in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Today, the 90 members of the HFPA represent at least 55...

. Harvey Stephens
Harvey Stephens
Harvey Spencer Stephens is an English actor who played the role of Damien Thorn in The Omen.Stephens was born in Putney, London, England. He was four years old when picked for the part, which required him to have his blond hair dyed jet black...

 was nominated for a Golden Globe
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 for Best Acting Debut – Male. David Seltzer
David Seltzer
David Seltzer is an American screenwriter, producer and director, perhaps best known for writing The Omen , and Bird on a Wire , starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn...

's original screenplay was nominated by the Writers Guild of America
Writers Guild of America
The Writers Guild of America is a generic term referring to the joint efforts of two different US labor unions:* The Writers Guild of America, East , representing TV and film writers East of the Mississippi....

 for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
The Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay is one of the three film writing awards given by the Writers Guild of America Award....

 and for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture. The film was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film
Saturn Award for Best Horror Film
The following are a list of Saturn Award winners for Best Horror Film:-References:...

. Gilbert Taylor
Gilbert Taylor
Gilbert Taylor, B.S.C. , is a cinematographer.After six years service during World War II as an officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, he became an Operational Cameraman flying in Avro Lancaster bombers, documenting the damage after British bombing raids.He worked on a number of films...

 won the Best Cinematography Award from the British Society of Cinematographers
British Society of Cinematographers
The British Society of Cinematographers was formed in 1949 by Bert Easey, 23 August 1901 - 28 February 1973, the then head of the Denham and Pinewood studio camera departments.The stated objectives at the formation of the BSC were...



The movie was spoofed in Mad Magazine as "The Ominous" and on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

 as "The Ointment".
In 1998, Damien appeared in a episode of South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

, confronting Jesus Christ, but he makes friends with the gang, except Cartman. The novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett satirizes the apocalypse and several events of the film, including the baby swap.


  • David Seltzer, The Omen. (Futura, 1976).
  • Joseph Howard, Damien: Omen II. (Futura, 1978).
  • Gordon McGill, Omen III: The Final Conflict. (Futura, 1980).
  • Gordon McGill, Omen IV: Armageddon 2000. (Futura, 1983).
  • Gordon McGill, Omen V: The Abomination. (Futura, 1985).

Both the movie and the novelization were written by David Seltzer (the book preceded the movie by two weeks as an effective marketing gimmick). For the book, Seltzer took liberties with his own material, augmenting plot points and character backgrounds and changing details (such as character names — Holly becomes Chessa Whyte, Keith Jennings becomes Huber Jennings, Father Brennan becomes Father Edgardo Emilio Tassone, et cetera). The second and third novels were novelized forms of their respective movies and more-or-less reflected movie continuity. Interestingly, Gordon McGill retroactively changed the time period of The Omen to the 1950s, in order to make The Final Conflict (featuring an adult Damien) take place explicitly in the 1980s. Although neither the first Omen movie nor its novelisation mention what year the story takes place, it can be assumed that its setting was intended to be the year the movie was released (i.e. 1976).

The fourth novel, Omen IV: Armageddon 2000, was entirely unrelated to the fourth movie
Omen IV: The Awakening
Omen IV: The Awakening is a 1991 made-for-television film that serves as the fourth and final addition to the original The Omen series, directed by Jorge Montesi and Dominique Othenin-Girard. It was the final film of the original "Omen" series. This was intended to be the first of many televisual...

, but continued the story of Omen III. Its premise is based on the one-night stand between Damien Thorn and Kate Reynolds in Omen III. This affair included an act of sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

 and thence Kate gave the (rectal) "birth" of another diabolical entity called "the abomination" (presumably after the "abomination of desolation
Abomination of Desolation
The abomination of desolation is a term found in the Hebrew Bible, in the book of Daniel. It also occurs in the book of 1 Maccabees and in the New Testament gospels....

" from the book of Daniel) in Omen IV. This novel attempted to patch one of the Omen series' more glaring plot-holes, namely the question of whether the Antichrist could be slain by a single one of the "Seven Sacred Daggers of Megiddo" (which occurred in Omen III) or only by all of them (as stated in the first book and movie). The solution reached was that one dagger could kill Damien's form, but not his soul. This explanation was also explicitly stated in the first movie. Damien's acolyte Paul Buher (played by Robert Foxworth
Robert Foxworth
Robert Heath Foxworth is an American film, stage and television actor.-Early life and career:Foxworth was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Erna Beth , a writer, and John Howard Foxworth, a roofing contractor...

in the second movie and mentioned, though not seen, in the third) is a major character in the fourth book and achieves redemption in its climax.

This story was concluded in the fifth novel, Omen V: The Abomination. The novel begins with a "memoriam" listing all of the characters who had been killed throughout the saga up to that point, and which states Damien's life as having taken place in the period of 1950–1982. The story ends with the death of Damien's son, and the character Jack Mason deciding to chronicle Damien's story in book-form. The opening lines he writes are exactly the same words which begin David Seltzer's novelization of the first film, bringing the series full-circle.

External links

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