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Omen III: The Final Conflict

Omen III: The Final Conflict movie poster
Directed by Graham Baker
Produced by Harvey Bernhard
Richard Donner
(executive producer)
Written by Andrew Birkin
Starring Sam Neill
Don Gordon
Rossano Brazzi
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Phil Meheux
Robert Paynter
Editing by Alan Strachan
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Running time 108 min.
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Preceded by Damien: Omen II
Followed by Omen IV: The Awakening

Omen III: The Final Conflict is a 1981 horror film directed by Graham Baker and the third installment in The Omen series. Starring Sam Neill, Lisa Harrow and Rossano Brazzi, the film tells the progression of the now adult Damien Thorn to position of earthly power, set against the count-down to the Second Coming and attempts of a group of priests to kill the Antichrist.



Damien Thorn (Sam Neill), now 32 years old and head of an international conglomerate, is appointed Ambassador to Great Britain, the same position his supposed father held in the first film. Unlike the previous Omen films, the adult Damien is entirely aware of his unholy lineage, and his destiny.

An alignment of the stars in the Cassiopeia region of the night sky causes the generation of a 'superstar', described in the film as a second Star of Bethlehem. Thorn realizes it is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ and he orders all boys in Anglia born on the morning of March 24, 1982 (the morning when, in the story, the Cassiopeia alignment occurred) to be killed in order to prevent the Christ-child's return to power. A subplot in the film deals with one of Thorn's disciples, Dean, attempting to obscure the fact that his own son was born at the appointed time; Dean not only fails, but is killed by his own wife.

Thorn has also become involved with journalist Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow), a complex relationship which undermines his plans for political dominion. Damien also focuses his attention on her preadolescent son Peter (Barnaby Holm), whom he takes as a disciple.

Meanwhile, Father DeCarlo (Rossano Brazzi) and six other priests armed with the seven daggers of Megiddo - ancient holy weapons which are the only Earthly weapons which can harm the Antichrist - hunt Thorn in the hope of killing him before he can destroy the Christ-child. However, one by one, Damien fights and kills all the priests until only DeCarlo survives.

Finally, in spite of Thorn's efforts, DeCarlo informs Reynolds that the Christ-child is out of his reach but that, none the less, the task still remains to destroy Damien. In a final act of evil, Damien uses Reynolds' son - now slavishly devoted to Damien - as a shield against DeCarlo's dagger. As Peter lies dying, Damien tries to strangle Father DeCarlo, which apparently rendered DeCarlo unconscious. In a desperate bid to salvage his waning power, Damien calls out for Christ to appear before him. As he does this, Kate Reynolds steals behind Damien, stabbing him in the back with the dagger. Christ appears in a flash before a dying Damien, who tells the vision 'you have won nothing'.

After Damien dies, he is seen in the background with Kate Reynolds standing over him. In the foreground, Christ is carrying Peter's form.





Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman were all considered for the role of Damien Thorn. It was decided that an unknown actor would fit the role best, hence the choice of Sam Neill, at that point early in his career. Neill was suggested for the role by actor James Mason, a close friend of producer Harvey Bernhard, who also paid for him to be flown to England for a screen test. Neill later reimbursed Mason for the ticket and, according to director Graham Baker, based his earlier characterisations on Mason's acting.

Rossano Brazzi got his role as Father DeCarlo due to his statement of "He is a priest with balls!" Graham Baker mentioned this in the commentary, along with his whistling interpretation of Rossano's role in South Pacific. Producer Harvey Bernhard plays the Ambassador's press secretary when the Ambassador calls him and says "I want a press conference, my office..."

Executive producer Richard Donner, who had directed the first installment, was set to direct this film but was prevented by egal troubles with the Salkinds after being fired from Superman II

Locales and filming

The evening party scene was filmed in Brocket Hall, just outside of London, which also substituted as Damien's residence. Kate, Damien, and Peter walk from Hyde Park to Speakers Corner. This scene was shot in the summer in the rain and dampness of London. The Moors sequence was shot in Cornwall including Roche Rock with added visuals for the lightning. The Disciples Of The Watch sequence was shot at around 4-5am in one night in the Yorkshire Moors. The finale was shot at Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. "Shooting here was very cold and very eerie," according to Graham Baker's commentary on the DVD. University of London Observatory in Mill Hill, London (identified as "Hendon" in Baker's commentary) substituted for the Fernbank Observatory for The Second Coming sequence.

The crew did not go back to Subiaco to film the exterior location of the monastery as in the first film as it only appears in two scenes in this film. They just used footage from the first film. Stock footage from The Omen were also used when the Ambassador, who kills himself at the beginning of the film, walks to the United States Embassy. The footage of the White House featured in the film was taken from Superman II, substracting the visual effects.

Lisa Harrow said one of the most difficult sequences to shoot for the film was the death of the first priest in the televisual studio where her character Kate Reynolds interviews Damien. It took over two weeks to get right. It is considered one of the nastiest main-stream movie deaths, involving a priest burning to death whilst trapped in melting plastic sheets. The scene where Barbara saw a vision of her baby burned/dead was shot on slate 666 and the camera jammed according to director Graham Baker. Stuntman Vic Armstrong performed the backwards one-hundred foot fall from the bridge. In Guinness World Records 2005, he described it as the most frightening stunt of his career. Most of his falls were less than seventy feet.


In order for the story to be enacted in the then-contemporary 1981, the series timeline required substantial retconing, moving events from the first two movies back in time. This allowed Thorn, a child in 1976 and a teen in 1978, to be an adult by 1981.

Alternative titles

When first released in 1981, the film's original official title was simply The Final Conflict. Later, the title was adjusted to Omen III: The Final Conflict in order to accentuate its link to the other two films in the cycle.

In Germany and Hungary, the film was released as Barbara's Baby, a play on the title Rosemary's Baby. This title also appeared on some posters in many countries before the eventual title was announced.


In 1991, a sequel, Omen IV: The Awakening, was produced for television in a failed attempt by 20th Century Fox to revive the films as a horror franchise in the style of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

External links


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