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The Exorcist (1973)

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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)
172 ( 143)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 15 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


Nobody expected it, nobody believed it, and nobody could stop it. The one hope, the only hope: THE EXORCIST 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


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£151,714 (UK) (19 June 1998)


$204,565,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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?


When she was working as a model, Kim Basinger auditioned for the role of Regan McNeill. See more »


When the clock stops, the pendulum stops on the left side of the clock-casing. When the camera cuts back to the clock the pendulum hangs to the right 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 The Simpsons: Home Sweet Home-Diddily-Dum-Doodily (1995) See more »


Study No. 2
Written by David Borden
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Engraved into your minds...forever
6 December 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

For those who watched this film on the big screen when it was re-released and thought it was 'comical, funny, not disturbing nor scary' are just do not understand the complexity that surrounds this movie. Back in '73, no one was expecting a film of this kind, and I know it has been said many times but it WAS way ahead of its time. A time where cinema was in its infancy, religion was practiced on a larger scale than today and showing such violent, graphic and disturbing scenes was not thought of as being possible, one can understand why it has been banned for so many years.

I recently watched this movie (at night, before bedtime) and it really left me thinking of how such horrifying scenes could be shown and portrayed in such a way. There were many scenes that would not get out of my head (for those who have seen the movie would know what scenes they are). I could not sleep that night and that hasn't happened since I saw Nightmare On Elm Street Part 1 when I was 6!

What makes things worse is that there are well known cases where people have been possessed by the devil or a supernatural being, which leads them in doing evil deeds.

When you mix a horror movie with religion on such a large magnitude, things can heat up and become very unpleasant.

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