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Date: 8/14/03

Subject: Resolution

The Omen


The resolution of the screenplay for "The Omen"  ( helps define the theme of the story. The theme is that a biblical curse cannot be escaped.

In "The Omen," Ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) is told by a priest--Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton)--that Robert's son, Damien (Harvey Stephens), is the Antichrist, the son of the devil.

Brennan recites a biblical prophecy predicting the rise to power of the Antichrist and says that Damien will seize the wealth and power of the Thorn family by killing Robert's wife, Kathy, and her unborn child, as well as by killing Robert.

When Brennan is killed in a freak accident, Robert works with Photojournalist Keith Jennings (David Warner) to investigate the legitimacy of Brennan's prophecies.

As both men conduct their investigation, the prophecies begin to come true. Kathy is almost killed in an accident purposely caused by Damien, and her unborn child is spontaneously killed in her womb as a result of the accident.

Ironically, this tragedy makes Robert even more determined to find out whether he is raising a human child.

He travels to a hospital in Italy where Kathy gave birth to a child who was allegedly still-born. It was in that hospital that a priest arranged for Robert to illegally adopt Damien and to deceive Kathy into believing that Damien was her natural-born child.

It is Robert's participation in this deception that eventually leads to his death and, as a result, the fulfillment of the prophecy Father Brennan warned him of.

At the end of the film, Robert is killed by the police while trying to stab Damien to death.

In the final scene, the resolution, we find that Robert's friend, the President of the United States, has adopted the child, creating the possibility that Damien will someday become president and complete his acquisition of power as the Antichrist.

In this way, we learn that a biblical curse cannot be escaped.

A screenwriter can effectively use the idea of the curse to create a tight, fast-paced story.

Since every scene must move the story toward the fulfillment of the prophecy stemming from a curse, the writer is less likely to use extraneous scenes.

But the writer must first know the end of the story, the resolution, in order to make the best use of this plot device.

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