8.0/10
293,047
1,072 user 268 critic

The Exorcist (1973)

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

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (novel)
Popularity
543 ( 467)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    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. While 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
Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
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
Poltergeist (1982)
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    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
Scream (1996)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Carrie (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
The Omen (1976)
Horror
    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 Antichrist? The Devil's own son?

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Harvey Stephens
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
The Evil Dead (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
Saw (2004)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there or why, and soon discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Karl
Gina Petrushka ...
Willi
Robert Symonds ...
Dr. Taney
Arthur Storch ...
Psychiatrist
Thomas Bermingham ...
Tom - President of University (as Reverend Thomas Bermingham S.J.)
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Scariest Movie Of All Time Has Returned. In The Version You've Never Seen Before. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | | | | |

Release Date:

26 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£151,714 (UK) (19 June 1998)

Gross:

$204,565,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Father Dyer is played by William O'Malley, an actual priest who until 2012 taught at Fordham Prep, a Jesuit high school. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the exorcism, Karras stands right at the end of the bed as it begins to thump on the floor. There's a cut to a wider shot showing this end lifting off the floor but Karras has vanished. A subsequent shot shows him still standing in that spot. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References Nosferatu (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Quiet Village
Written by Les Baxter
Performed by Les Baxter
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.


225 of 276 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
R.I.P. William Peter Blatty robertcunningham-14378
Favorite Film of all Time. afrodome
Damien name meaning... apollo86
Sadly, THE EXORCIST doesn't hold up cliffcarson-502-470231
Detailing Characters (Dinner Party) abishai_gangulee
Who did put the crucifix under Regan's pillow? jevicci
Discuss The Exorcist (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?