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The Exorcist (1973)

R  |   |  Horror  |  26 December 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 269,736 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 Scariest Movie Of All Time Has Returned. In The Version You've Never Seen Before. 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?


In one scene, Lt. Kinderman makes a comment that Father Karras looks like Sal Mineo. Lee J. Cobb, who plays Kinderman, previously appeared with Mineo in Exodus (1960). See more »


In the birds-eye view of the scene where Damien is running around the track before meeting the detective, there is a fly on the camera lens. 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 Keeping Up Appearances: Let There Be Light (1993) See more »


Istoria Mou, Amartia Mou
Performed by Rita Sakellariou
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

6 December 1998 | by (Wetumpka, Alabama) – See all my reviews

Many people complain that this movie's too slow but those are the kind of folks who only like 80-minute splatter films with characters so dumb and one-sided, you pray for the bad guy to kill them. This monster of a drama is both beautiful and bold. It has CHARACTERS and not simply LAMEBRAINS lined up for slaughter. It has class and purpose. It takes the audience into the darkest recesses of humankind and then brings them back through a message of hope and self-sacrifice. The movie is NOT anti-religion, it's anti-evil. Anyone who likes smart, clever, meaningful horror-drama should see this film at least twice. It is surprisingly touching and amazingly powerful.

That said, the cast deserves a hand for their wonderful performances. Ellen Burstyn perfectly conveys the tension of a mother of the cusp of tragedy; Max von Sydow is hauntingly perfect as the story's ray of light; Jason Miller embodies the sadness of a defeated man; and Linda Blair is far above average even at her young age.

Once again, see this movie. You won't forget it.

237 of 299 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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