In Our Opinion


By • Sep 5th, 2009 • Pages: 1 2 3

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FEAR NO EVIL – Universal/MCA Television. Technicolor. 35MM. 1:33.1 Aspect Ratio.


Original TV Pilot Titles: BEDEVILED, DEAD OF NIGHT, LA MIROIR DE LA MORT (French Title, dubbed for France)


Louis Jourdan… Doctor David Sorell

Linda Day (George)…Barbara Arnholt

Carroll O’Conner…Professor Myles Donovan

Bradford Dillman…Professor Paul Varney

Wilfrid Hyde-White… Doctor Harry Snowdan

Katherine Woodville…Ingrid Dorne

Harry Davis…Mr. Wyant

Jeanne Buckley…Miss Barnett


Paul Wendkos…Director

Richard Alan Simmons…Screenplay, Producer

Guy Endore…Original Story

David Levinson…Associate Producer

William (Billy) Goldenberg…Music

Andrew J. McIntyre…Cinematography

Byron Chudnow…Editing

Howard E. Johnson…Art Direction

Kenny Williams…Assistant Director

Don Record…Special Effects Design

Richard Belding…Editorial Supervision

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25 Responses »

  1. Richard

    this is great genre work on your part, very welcomed by those of us that remember these two films with affection from the time we first saw them on TV all those years ago.

    Please keep this up and give us more from your perspective…well done!

  2. Thankyou David. Your comment is most welcomed and hope to hear more. This is, believe it or not, an edited version from a 27 page piece that goes scene by scene of the entire film (because of its ‘lost’ status, I felt it was the only way to do justice to it). Hopefully, the powers to be will realize the importance of this film and bring it back!

  3. Richard, I remember this and have always liked Louis Jordon. Your comment re the archives of universal and the state of the precious negatives housed there, I was under the impression that there were two poeple employed there solely to check over the negatives, as…I think its nitrate…of the films can be explosive literally if the ‘frost’ up. Being closer to the source, you might be able to verfiy that

  4. When I contacted Universal Pictures I was confronted by what appears to be a beauracratic nightmare of being bumped from one dept. to another! As for the negatives there? Another mystery!

  5. Richard,
    This is a great article on a true “lost” classic. Fear No Evil was a feature film quality production in every respect. I still enjoy my grainy VHS copy, taped off a local television station in the 1980s, to this very day. It’s a chilling film and Lynda Day George is mesmerizing.

    It’s a shame its TV movie label has pushed it into the long lost category. Hopefully the right person at Universal will read this and issue a definitive DVD before it disappears entirely.

  6. I keep writing to TCM, under ‘Suggest A Movie’, to run this gem! Maybe we can all suggest it to TCM!

  7. Paul Wendkos died on Thursday (Nov. 12, 2009) at age 84! He was a talented director and will be missed.
    We all wish to express our sympathy to the Wendkos family for their loss!!

  8. Richard
    Bravo!!! I have been searching for these films for years and I’m glad to finally see some serious material written about them. I’m happy to see that my interest is not solitary.

    There are still some of us folks out there who DO remember the “bits of magic” from those glory days of television adolescence–especially the made-for-tv films. I remember when I first saw DUEL…what an experience. And how about A COLD NIGHT’S DEATH? Well. I could just go on and on…

    Thank you for that wonderful article. I hope we can “rattle the cages” and breathe some life into this genre.

  9. Thankyou very much Mark! I’m always trying to ‘think outside of the box’ in my entertainment by seeking and sharing the obscure and forgotten!!!!

  10. So happy to see this project Richard!!! Is there anyway I can get a copy of your original full draft? We’ve spoken before about the film through email AND snail mail I believe over the years. I’m so glad you contacted people and did some research regarding the preservation of this film. I think that you need to contact Anchor Bay Entertainment. I’ve been meaning to for years – wanting to send them a copy of the film and let them know the historical significance it has. Your background research on the film qualifies you more than me to contact them. I’m sure you are aware of them – they specialize in releasing the rare and obscure – especially horror and cult films. They spend so much time and money on restoring neglected films. They are now owned by Starz – I don’t know if that has changed their practice much or not. I would love to see Anchor Bay finally release this MASTERPIECE for the world to finally see and enjoy.

  11. hadn’t seen fear no evil in about 30 yrs., since it ran on NYC local tv as a 4:30 movie. all i can say is WOW! – they do NOT make them like this anymore. the script was hyper-intelligent and way ahead of its time for 1970 (erotic fantasies in prime time!!) brilliant cinematic shot compositions and use of muted colors to evoke mood … and the mirror scenes, while not horrific, were just skin-crawly. a modest film but one of a kind, sort of like a cooler, more sophisticated Night Stalker or even an X-Files precursor. if there’s a remake, they should cast Duchovny as Sorrell

  12. Loved the movie when I was very young.
    would love to see it again if possible.
    can someone help me find a copy?

  13. Tony again forgot my e-mail address.

    hear from you soon

  14. this movie was so scary when I saw it, and much better than most of the theatrical releases that year, its a shame that it is languishing in some vault. this would be great to be seen on the big screen at some midnight screening at an independent cinema somewhere. I’m sure it could be turned into a cult favorite. Lets hope it can be resurrected soon

  15. At this writing, film historian Philip J. Riley, who, working with me on this near completed project, is putting the final touches on the “FEAR NO EVIL” book that I have written. It will be coming out through BearManor Media. It will contain contributions from filmmaker Gary Gerani and an afterward by Phil. At this writing, June 2012, Phil told me that Universal Pictures has NOTHING listed in their vaults, trims or stills on “Fear No Evil”! Maybe the european archives??
    Rakashi Lives!!!!!

  16. “FEAR NO EVIL” has now been brought back to life in my first book, along with input by film historian Philip J. Riley and producer Gary Gerani, that offers the shooting script, rare stills and great information. From BearManor Media!!!!

  17. As a BearManor author myself Richard…
    not to mention a lifelong pal of Phil’s welcome to the club….you have obsessed on this film for years and now you have brought it out of the closet and into the light….good for you…..

  18. Thank you for the very kind words, David. This is indeed a gem that people I have known, seeing it for the first time, were caught! An example of intelligence and eroticism, very rare, in a television production! The following will be “Ritual Of Evil”!

  19. I wish to say here, as I have been blogging elsewhere, that in regards to the “FEAR NO EVIL” book (BearManor Media), that my two friends, Philip J. Riley and Gary Gerani, are indeed the two ‘reel’ people who deserve all the credit (I consider my ‘talent’ a mere contribution to a tome that Phil set up and worked on ,while Gary, in turn, supplied the script and the excellent written articles/photographs in it). It is my hope that reviewers will focus on them and their amazing talent that they have contributed to this book and their past contributions to the field of cinema!

  20. It is so gratifying to see this film getting the appreciation it deserves! So deep was the impression it made on me four or so decades ago that, as I began to watch the first of 11 segments on YouTube, my mind was deliciously flooded with explicit details of the movie (such as that sinister musical theme, details of the demonic ritual, and David Sorell’s ‘ancient’ box which no one dared open) before they actually occurred, as though I had seen it only a week ago. Like the mirror around which the story unfolds, the crafting of this film seems to create a darkly compelling other-reality to which it is irresistible to return. The overall production is positively elegant in its intelligence, a real tribute to an era of movie making aimed toward provoking a thought process rather than a gag reflex! Truly a classic. It deserves cult recognition!

  21. Claudia, I fully agree and I have been getting, to my delight, very positive feedback on my book,”THE RAKASHI FILE: FEAR NO EVIL” (BearManor Media) that I did on this film (fully expanding on what I set out to do when I wrote the Films in Review piece. Sad to say, Universal seems to have lost (or junked) the original elements but I was given an excellent dvd-r of this title (and “RITUAL OF EVIL”) by a collector. Hopefully the French version is intact with excellent original elements that can be used for a full restoration.

  22. So happy to see work on this wonderful film! Thank you!
    Is there anyplace to get a copy of the music soundtrack?
    Have an adequate copy of the movie, but always hopefully of it being
    released.. Thanks Richard!

  23. Thank you John McClure! I have a book out, “THE RAKASHI FILE: FEAR NO EVIL” from BearManor Media and, which gives this excellent television the recognition it deserves ( look under: FEAR NO EVIL)! There is also a FB Page I created (FEAR NO EVIL) on this and, very sad to say, other television movies that have dropped off the face of the earth!! So many talented actors, writers and directors being now ignored!!!!

  24. Richard,
    There actually was one full season of “Bedeviled” episodes that were never aired; shelved by Universal Television to never see the light of day. They were apparently filmed sometime around the “Ritual of Evil” Telemovie. Most notable players in the cast were Robert Culp, Frank Gorshin, Chad Everett, Suzanne Pleshette, Patrick O,Neal, Stephanie Powers, Adam West, Juliet Prowse, and a rare appearance by Richard Burton. There is absolutely no paper trail to prove this but a few of the behind-the-camera workers have made statements to this effect. Billy Goldenberg’s score was also mastered for a vinyl release by Universal Music France but never surfaced. This would make a great DVD/Blu-Ray package if the gravediggers could get to work.
    Just kidding! Happy Holidays!!!
    Mark C, Marlton, NJ

  25. LOL!!!
    Thanks Mark, a good laugh is a great way to start a day-yes indeed!! Hope you enjoy “THE RAKASHI FILE: FEAR NO EVIL” and let us continue to hope a print shows up some day for a beautiful dvd release.
    While I am now concentrating on writing fiction , instead of films (and getting great feedback from several publishing companies as I write this), I would love to track down permission to attempt to write a novel of “Fear No Evil” and its sequel, “Ritual of Evil”. Plenty of time ahead!!!

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