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Wednesday May 22nd 2024

The Devil Rides Out | 1968

The Devil Rides Out film location: Manor Hotel, Barnet Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire
The Devil Rides Out film location: the night in the chalk circle: Manor Hotel, Barnet Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire | Photograph: Wikimedia / RobThinks

Hammer Films' ambitious filming of Dennis Wheatley's potentially scary story is hampered by a limited budget, but after sitting through CGI-swamped dreck like Jan De Bont's awful rehash of 60s classic The Haunting, its lo-tech effects begin to seem charming.

Christopher Lee, on the side of the angels for once, as an the aristocratic Duc de Richleau, is set on rescuing his friends from a devil-worshipping cult.

The conjuring of Satan was filmed in Black Park Country Park, Buckinghamshire, a familiar location bordering on the grounds of Pinewood Studios (home of the Bond movies, and Hagrid's hut in the first Harry Potter movie was built in the park).

The house of villain Mocata (one-time Blofeld Charles Gray) is High Canons, Buckettsland Lane, Well End, a couple of miles to the north of Borehamwood in Hertfordshire (another much used location seen in Hammer’s The Satanic Rites Of Dracula, Half Moon Street, Rentadick, Murder on the Orient Express and lots of TV shows). Close to Elstree-Borehamwood Studios, it’s a private house and not visible from the road.

The faux half-timbered home of Richard and Marie Eaton (Paul Eddington and Sarah Lawson), where the four characters spend the night besieged in the chalk circle, was the Edgwarebury Hotel, now acquired by the Laura Ashley company as the The Manor Hotel, Edgwarebury Lane, off Barnet Lane, Elstree.

Conveniently close to Elstree and Borehamwood Studios, this veteran location was also the tennis club where Ian Carmichael is embarrassed by his clunky Swiftmobile, before turning the tables on caddish Terry-Thomas in Robert Hamer’s brilliantly cynical 1960 School For Scoundrels, as well as having been seen in Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz, 1939’s Sons of the Sea, with Leslie Banks, the rather dated Agatha Christie mystery Endless Night, the 1970s black comedy Hawks, (with ER’s Anthony Edwards and Bond-to-be Timothy Dalton), Hide and Seek (1963), the farce Not Now Comrade, and glimpsed – very briefly – in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.