Release dateJune 1978 (1978-06) (UK) WriterRobert Graves (story), Michael Austin (screenplay), Jerzy Skolimowski (screenplay) Initial releaseJune 1978 (United Kingdom) Music directorTony Banks, Mike Rutherford ScreenplayJerzy Skolimowski, Michael Austin CastAlan Bates (Crossley), Susannah York (Rachel Fielding), John Hurt (Anthony Fielding), Robert Stephens (Medical Man), Tim Curry (Robert Graves), Julian Hough (Vicar) Similar moviesTremors, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, Tremors II: Aftershocks, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, The Last Stand, Rio Bravo
TaglineA film of intense perversity - the madness of the mind.
The Shout is a 1978 British horror film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, based on a short story by Robert Graves that was adapted for the screen by Michael Austin. The film was the first to be produced by Jeremy Thomas under his Recorded Picture Company banner.
Crossley (Alan Bates), a mysterious travelling man who invades the lives of a young couple, Rachel and Anthony Field (Susannah York and John Hurt). Anthony is a composer, who experiments with sound effects and various electronic sources in his secluded Devon studio. The couple provides hospitality to Crossley, but his intentions are gradually revealed as more sinister. He claims he has learned from an Aboriginal shaman how to produce a "terror shout" that can kill anyone who hears it unprotected.
Alan Bates as Crossley
Susannah York as Rachel Fielding
John Hurt as Anthony Fielding
Robert Stephens as Chief Medical Officer
Tim Curry as Robert Graves
Julian Hough as Vicar
Carol Drinkwater as Wife
Jim Broadbent as Fielder in cowpat
Susan Wooldridge as Harriet
The North Devon coastline, specifically Saunton Sands and Braunton Burrows, was used for the bulk of the location shooting. The church of St Peter in Westleigh Bideford used in church scenes
Producer Jeremy Thomas later remembered his experience making the film:
Because I had a great director, and a quality piece of literature I managed to get a wonderful cast such as John Hurt and Alan Bates. Skolimowski had a sense of shooting style then, this was the second director who I had worked closely with, and it was fascinating watching Skolimowski work. He came from a Polish tradition, the Wajda Film School, he had a different background to other directors I had been working with in the cutting rooms or elsewhere. And it made the film much more creative to me. I saw it more as an artistic endeavour by him.
The film went to Cannes and won the Grand Prix de Jury. We were incredibly lucky and the film was appreciated by the jury. It was a very small festival then, nothing like the Cannes Film Festival of today, it was a small event in a cinema of 800 people or so.
The film's soundtrack is by Michael Rutherford and Tony Banks of the rock band Genesis. The central theme "From the Undertow" features on Banks's album A Curious Feeling.
The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival and received the Grand Prize of the Jury, in a tie with Bye Bye Monkey.
In popular culture
In The Guard (2011), Sergeant Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is seen watching The Shout on television.