Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 22nd, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1973
Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Writer: Colin Higgins, Phill Norman
Cast: Shelley Winters, Belinda Montgomery, Robert Foxworth, Jonathan Frid, Martha Scott, Joseph Cotten, Barbara Sammeth, Diane Ladd
DVD released: October 1st, 2007
Approximate running time: 75 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Wild Eye
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
The early 1970’s saw a slew of Satanic related films in the wake of the success of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Some of the better films from this genre are The Wicker Man, The Mephisto Waltz and The Exorcist. The Devil’s Daughter was directed by a veteran television director who directed these features films Jaws 2, Somewhere in Time and Supergirl. Visually the Devil’s Daughter has a few great moments like the party scene where Diane’s mother’s friends reveal that she is the daughter of Satan. The use of fish eyed and wide angled lenses adds to the viewers’ and Diane’s disorientation.
The cast the Devil’s Daughter is one of the better I have come across for a T.V. movie. Shelley Winters has spent most of her career playing similar characters like the one she plays in the film and as usual she is very convincing as a crazy cult member. Jonathan Frid of Televisions’ Dark Shadows fame plays a mute butler in the film and the legendary Joseph Cotton who once starred in films like “Citizen Kane” and “The Third Man” plays the prince of darkness. In the lead role of Diane Shaw is an actress named Belinda Montgomery who looks and innocence that she brings to the role makes her all the more convincing. Also in two smaller roles and yet important roles in the films are Diane Ladd as Alice Shaw and Abe Vigoda as Alikhine one of Satan’s minions.
The story is filled with many plot twists including a memorable ending that you will not believe. One major difference between Rosemary’s Baby and The Devil’s Daughter is that the Devil’s Daughter from the get go lets you in on what is going on while Rosemary’s baby keeps things ambiguous tell the very end. Ultimately if you are a fan of Satanic and/or cult related films then you should give The Devil’s Daughter a spin since it contains all the clichés we expect to see from this type of film.
The Devil’s Daughter was a made for T.V. movie and it is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Colors look faded and at times they bleed into each other. Details look soft and print damage is kept to a minimum.
This release comes with only one audio option the films original English language mix. The audio mix outside of some minor hiss is more then adequate considering the age of the film and the limitations of the mono source audio.
This release comes with no extra content. Movie’s that were made for T.V. often fade away into obscurity and are never heard from again. The Devil’s Daughter is one of the better T.V. movie’s about Satanism that you will ever come across.
Far from a perfect release the Wild Eye DVD release for The Devil’s Daughter most likely the best version of this film that we will ever see on home video.