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The Exorcist (1973)

R  |   |  Horror  |  26 December 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 269,772 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 1,036 user | 298 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.



(written for the screen by), (novel)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Dyer (as Reverend William O'Malley S.J.)
Barton Heyman ...
Dr. Barringer - Clinic Director (as Pete Masterson)
Rudolf Schündler ...
Gina Petrushka ...
Robert Symonds ...
Dr. Taney
Arthur Storch ...
Thomas Bermingham ...
Tom - President of University (as Reverend Thomas Bermingham S.J.)


A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother's terminal sickness. And, book-ending the story, a frail, elderly priest recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy. Written by Andrew Harmon <aharmon@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The movie you've been waiting for...without the wait. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

26 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Exorcist: The Version You Haven't Seen Yet  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£151,714 (UK) (19 June 1998)


ESP 1,343,229,032 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(1979 re-release)| (director's cut)| (director's cut)| (original release)| (director's cut)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The song that plays on the radio when father Karras enters his mom's house is "Istoria mou, amartia mou" (My Story, My Sin) by Rita Sakellariou. See more »


Once, in the Iraq sequence, the shadow of a microphone is visible on Father Merrin's hat. See more »


[first lines]
Boy: [in Arabic] They've found something... small pieces.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title. Although it is commonplace now, it was unheard of in 1973. See more »


Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Manitou (2010) See more »


Tubular Bells
Written by Mike Oldfield
Courtesy of Virgin Records
[Heard during opening and closing]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Exorcist....more than a mere horror film
2 October 2001 | by (manchester , england) – See all my reviews

The Exorcist is the best horror film ever made and there is one reason for this,the subject matter is treated with dignity and respect,too many "horror films" are made today that just don't try,it's as if they give up half way through and fall into self parody and amusement.the Exorcist is an exception and one of the very few good horror films around.the film works on a number of levels and is one of the few films I know of to do this i.e subliminal imagery,multiple storylines. a lot has been written about this film drawing mainly on sensationalism surrounding the films release that it would be hard for someone who has not seen the film to not have any preconceptions,but if you have not seen the film do try to keep an open mind because it will scare the hell out of you.this is also one of the rare cases where a film could arguably be better than the book it was adapted from.in my opinion the film could not have been made any better,the cast throughout are superb, the locations and production are second to none,all the characters are totally believable and there are points in the film where you think all this could really happen and it is for that reason the film is frightening and continues to frighten people to this day....a true shocker and one that has not lost any of its impact over the years.

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A monster movie of sorts. No such thing as the devil. cliffcarson-502-470231
Is it really that good because... KrisTina_1994
Director's Cut so unnecessary Writerchamp13
Why does 'help me' convince Karras? Sugarminx
Laying out/mapping the MacNeil house (warning: novel contained...haha) pscates
The Exorcist on BBC... detataandrea
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