Down 169 this week

The Exorcist (1973)

R  |   |  Horror  |  26 December 1973 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 269,763 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)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Poltergeist (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson
Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On Halloween night of 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
The Ring (2002)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone in a week of viewing it.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
Carrie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie White is shy and outcast 17-year old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, and unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates for the last time at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Five friends visiting their grandfather's house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Scream (1996)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Attempting to cope with her mother's murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a murderer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Saw (2004)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Would you kill to live? When a madman tries to teach how much life is worth, two men find themselves in a room with no idea how they got there or why they're there.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.

Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Shohreh Aghdashloo
The Conjuring (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston
The Omen (1976)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the anti-christ? The devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens


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 Devil Inside See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





| | | | |

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?


Though never explicitly mentioned, it is implied that Burke may have attempted to rape Reagan when he was alone with her. See more »


Father Karras's lighter changes hands just as he is about to light a cigarette in his apartment. 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 »


Spoofed in Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999) See more »


(Tutti) Threnody I: Night of the Electric Insects
Written by George Crumb
Courtesy of Composers Recordings, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Unmatched brilliance
28 March 2000 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

There is a reason for the hysteria and mystique surrounding THE EXORCIST. And it's called genius.

Never have I seen a film matched in shock, terror, writing, or performances. This isn't a horror movie. The film itself is both a moving and terrifying drama that takes a realistic look at what would actually happen if a young girl were possessed in modern America. William Peter Blatty's script is amazing, bringing depth to the characters, and presenting the mystery of faith that they all deal with. Is Regan possessed? Is she insane? And most importantly, Is there a God? In the course of two hours, we see a sweet and innocent young girl become a cross masturbating, head spinning, murderous, creature. We see a successful actress overcome skepticism to save her daughter, and we see a brilliant psychiatrist struggle with his devotion to God as a priest.

Friedkin's direction is marvelous, with wonderful uses of light, dark, and color throughout the film. Jason Miller (as Damien Karras) is beautifully subtle in his first film acting role. Max Von Sydow and Lee J. Cobb provide engaging supporting performances as the experienced priest who senses his impending doom, and a detective who senses something sinister is at work. Ellen Burstyn gives a brutally honest performance as a grief stricken woman trying to save her daughter. And most of all, a 12-year-old Linda Blair gives one of the most terrifying, convincing, and beautiful performances ever shown on film. Her range of emotion and connection to Regan are astonishing. She deserved that Oscar!

THE EXORCIST presents to us the mystery of faith in it's most raw form--the battle of good and evil. It is an incomparable masterpiece of film, done without the aid of computers and special effects. It relies on story and performances to give us a marvelous and terrifying piece of work. In the end, it makes us ask ourselves what we believe, and keeps us wondering and shuddering at exactally what might be out there.

215 of 261 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss The Exorcist (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: