Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)
Richard Donner and Harvey Bernhard in association with Mace Neufeld and 20th Century Fox.
This is the third segment of “The Omen” trilogy, with Rossano playing Father de Carlo, the nemisis of Damien Thorn (Sam Neill) — the only man in the world who can save us from evil!
As the film opens, Damien is planning to take over the world, but there is only one thing standing in his way: the prophesy that says that “The Nazarene” is returning, with the sole purpose of putting an end to his (Damien’s) supremacy. He is fully confident that his plan to murder all the babies born on the prophesized date will solve this problem. What he doesn’t know is that Father De Carlo (the leader of a group of Benedictine months at Mount Subiaco, Italy) has come into possession of a set of sacred knives that are the only weapons capable of murdering Damien. Father De Carlo announces to his obedient monks that they, and they alone, stand between good and evil, and begin to plan for their holy task of ridding the world of Damien, the son of Satan. Their initial attempts to assassinate Damien Thorn go rather badly, and the end results are rather gruesome and bloody.
Shaken, Father DeCarlo sets aside the plans to murder Damien in order to ascertain that the “holy child” is delivered into safekeeping. He and two assistants watch with joy as the alignment of the appropriate stars take place in the heavens. This sign indicates the site of the Second Coming — the holy child’s identity — “down to the square meter”.
Once the holy child is spirited away for safekeeping, Father De Carlo and his men once again return to the task of eliminating Damien. What they don’t know is that Damien has captured the soul of the son of a prominent journalist who has fallen in love with Thorn, to use as a spy. Father De Carlo eventually convinces her that Damien isn’t the man she thinks he is … and it is the triangle of mother, son and priest who eventually save the world from eternal damnation.
A sex-crazed mob of women once ripped off all of his clothes in Venice. A rich Mexican woman offered two million dollars to his wife if she would “sell” him to her. Recently on Italian television, it was said he has slept with more than two thousand women.
Rossano Brazzi does not deny it.
His current role in 20th Century-Fox’s epic chiller, The Final Conflict is a far cry from the Latin Lover image he’s built up over 35 years and in some 230 starring film roles. The third and final chapter in the terrifying Omen trilogy, The Final Conflict casts Brazzi as a dedicated monk, the one person who can thwart Damien Thorn in his quest to conquer the world. Introduced in the first two Omen films as the son of Satan, Damien is now a grown man of 33 and, as trusted advisor to the President of the United States, is one step away from the most powerful position on earth.
Although the role of Father DeCarlo is a heavily dramatic one, with no trace of the romantic figure he’s played so often and so well, Brazzi still finds himself the center of attention of women young enough to be his daughters. Today, about 60, still the slim welterweight he was at 25, Brazzi can philosophically reflect on his life and loves.
“With my long life, and after all my experience, a woman has to be something special to interest me now,” says Brazzi. “There has to be more than going to bed to see a couple of beautiful long legs. “You Americans – you see women as so many bodies to be conquered! You have sex; you do not make love. You are all so obsessed with the body,” says Brazzi. “You have no idea how sad this makes your women feel – the knowledge that you regard them as so much flesh to be picked up and put down.
“Physical beauty? It is not the most important thing. You should be looking into the body to see if, inside, there lives a woman of kindness, intelligence and charm. And the only way to do that is to look into her eyes. That is where true lovemaking begins.”
Brazzi has been married for 39 years to Lydia, his devoted Italian wife. They met when they were both 15-year old students in Florence. “Sure, we have fights,” admits Brazzi, “but they’re never those hurtful, bitter fights. Lydia is never jealous when women make advances to me. She has never tried to retaliate by emasculating me.”
“I’ve always acted with good sense and discretion. I was lucky. I never got the unbearable love pain in my gut and made a fool of myself, or was disrespectful to Lydia. “After the sexual excitement of the first few years, you learn how to change so that you get other things from the marriage. You cannot live forever in love’s young dream..”
Rossano Brazzi stars with Sam Neill, Don Gordon and Lisa Harrow in The Final Conflict, a Harvey Bernhard Production in association with Mace Neufeld. The 20th Century-Fox release was produced by Bernhard and directed by Graham Baker from a screenplay by Andrew Birkin. Richard Donner is executive producer.”
“Rossano Brazzi: A Lifetime of Love’, April 1981, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Co-star SAM NEILL has a wonderful memory of Rossano on the set of Omen III: Final Conflict which he was kind enough to share with us. He writes: “I once heard Rossano Brazzi whistling in the corridor on the way to make-up. I began to realize he was whistling “Some Enchanted Evening”. Couldn’t believe my luck! Best wishes, Sam Neill”.
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