The Shout

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.

The Shout
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJerzy Skolimowski
Produced byJeremy Thomas
Screenplay byJerzy Skolimowski
Michael Austin
Story byRobert Graves
StarringAlan Bates
John Hurt
Susannah York
Music byTony Banks
CinematographyMike Molloy
Edited byBarrie Vince
Distributed byThe Rank Organisation
Release date
  • June 1978 (1978-06) (UK)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Crossley (Alan Bates), a mysterious travelling man 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.



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 was used for the church scenes. The 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.[1]

The 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,[2] in a tie with Bye Bye Monkey.


  1. Thomas, Jeremy; Lieberson, Sanford (11 April 2006). ""At the Cutting Edge" – Producer Jeremy Thomas, interviewed by producer Sandy Lieberson". Berlinale Talent Campus. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  2. "Festival de Cannes: The Shout". Retrieved 21 May 2009.

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