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The Exorcist
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The Exorcist (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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The Exorcist -- Trailer for The Exorcist
The Exorcist -- When a teenager is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
The Exorcist -- hv post

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   231,611 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
William Peter Blatty (written for the screen by)
William Peter Blatty (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Exorcist on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 December 1973 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The movie you've been waiting for...without the wait. See more »
Plot:
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 14 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Devil Made Her Do It See more (987 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ellen Burstyn ... Chris MacNeil

Max von Sydow ... Father Merrin

Lee J. Cobb ... Lt. William Kinderman

Kitty Winn ... Sharon

Jack MacGowran ... Burke Dennings

Jason Miller ... Father Karras

Linda Blair ... Regan

William O'Malley ... Father Dyer (as Reverend William O'Malley S.J.)
Barton Heyman ... Dr. Klein

Peter Masterson ... 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.)
Vasiliki Maliaros ... Karras' Mother
Titos Vandis ... Karras' Uncle

John Mahon ... Language Lab Director
Wallace Rooney ... Bishop Michael
Ron Faber ... Chuck - Assistant Director / Demonic Voice
Donna Mitchell ... Mary Jo Perrin
Roy Cooper ... Jesuit Dean
Robert Gerringer ... Senator at Party

Mercedes McCambridge ... Demon (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Bateson ... Radiologist's Assistant (uncredited)
Elinore Blair ... Nurse (uncredited)

William Peter Blatty ... The Producer (uncredited)
Mary Boylan ... First Mental Patient (uncredited)
Dick Callinan ... Astronaut (uncredited)
Mason Curry ... Doctor (voice) (uncredited)
Toni Darnay ... Violent psychotic patient (uncredited)

Eileen Dietz ... Pazuzu's Face (uncredited)
Joanne Dusseau ... Senator's Wife (uncredited)
Bernard Eismann ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Beatrice Hunter ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Yvonne Jones ... Bellevue Nurse (uncredited)
Don LaBonte ... Minor Role (uncredited)
John Nicola ... Priest (uncredited)
Vincent Russell ... Subway Vagrant (uncredited)
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Directed by
William Friedkin 
 
Writing credits
William Peter Blatty (written for the screen by)

William Peter Blatty (novel)

Produced by
William Peter Blatty .... producer
Noel Marshall .... executive producer
David Salven .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Steve Boeddeker (2000)
 
Cinematography by
Owen Roizman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Norman Gay 
Evan A. Lottman  (as Evan Lottman)
 
Casting by
Louis DiGiaimo  (as Louis DiGiamo)
Nessa Hyams 
Juliet Taylor 
 
Production Design by
Bill Malley 
 
Art Direction by
John Robert Lloyd (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Jerry Wunderlich 
 
Costume Design by
Joseph Fretwell III  (as Joe Fretwell)
 
Makeup Department
William A. Farley .... hair stylist (as Bill Farley)
Dick Smith .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
William Kaplan .... production manager: Iraq sequence
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terence A. Donnelly .... first assistant director
Alan R. Green .... second assistant director (as Alan Green)
 
Art Department
Charles Bailey .... assistant art director
Joseph M. Caracciolo .... property master (as Joe Caracciolo)
Edward Garzero .... master scenic artist (as Eddie Garzero)
Robert Hart .... carpenter (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Randle Akerson .... dialogue editor (2000 re-release)
Randle Akerson .... sound editor (2000 re-release)
Noah Blough .... sound editor (2000 re-release)
Andrew Bock .... assistant sound editor: 2000 rerelease
Steve Boeddeker .... sound designer: theatrical re-release
Fred J. Brown .... sound effects editor (as Fred Brown)
Richard Burton .... sound editor (2000 re-release)
Susan Demskey-Horiuchi .... first assistant sound editor (2000 re-release)
Matthew Dettmann .... foley artist (2000 re-release) (as Matt Dettmann)
Richard Duarte .... foley mixer (2000 re-release)
Jean-Louis Ducarme .... sound: Iraq sequence
Bob Fine .... special sound effects
Dana LeBlanc Frankley .... adr assistant (2000 release) (as Dana LeBlanc)
Gonzalo Gavira .... special sound effects
Gary A. Hecker .... foley artist (2000 re-release) (as Gary Hecker)
David C. Hughes .... sound effects editor: re-release
Richard King .... supervising sound editor (2000 re-release)
Robert Knudson .... dubbing mixer (as Buzz Knudson)
Hal Landaker .... sound consultant
James Matheny .... sound editor (2000 re-release)
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer (2000 re-release)
Ron Nagle .... special sound effects
Christopher Newman .... sound (as Chris Newman)
Timothy Nielsen .... sound effects editor: re-release
Mark Pappas .... foley editor (2000 re-release)
Mark Pappas .... sound editor (2000 re-release)
Gary Rizzo .... sound re-recording mixer (2000 special edition)
Doc Siegel .... special sound effects
Donald Sylvester .... sound editor: 2000 rerelease
Ross Taylor .... sound effects editor
Robert Ulrich .... adr supervisor (2000 re-release)
Robert Ulrich .... supervising adr editor (2000 re-release)
Kerry Dean Williams .... adr editor (2000 re-release) (as Kerry Williams)
Linda Yeaney .... first assistant sound editor: 2000 rerelease
Sean England .... machine room operator: 2000 re-release (uncredited)
Sharron Miller .... sound editor (uncredited)
James Nelson .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Ken Nordine .... special sound effects (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Marcel Vercoutere .... special effects
Rick Baker .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jennifer Law-Stump .... 2000 special edition digital effects artist: Pacific Title Digital
Marv Ystrom .... optical effects
Martin Hall .... paint/roto artist (uncredited)
Matt Linder .... digital compositor: restoration (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Linda R. Hager .... stunt double (uncredited)
Anne Miles .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Waters .... stunts: Jason Miller (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Quinlan .... gaffer (as Dick Quinlan)
Ed Quinn .... key grip (as Eddie Quinn)
Josh Weiner .... still photographer
Billy Williams .... director of photography: Iraq sequence
Gary Muller .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Kelvin Pike .... camera operator: iraq sequence (uncredited)
Tom Priestley Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Schoenhut .... camera operator (uncredited)
David Wynn-Jones .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bill Beattie .... wardrobe: men's
Aldo Cipullo .... jewelry designer: Cartier, New York
Florence Foy .... wardrobe: ladies'
 
Editorial Department
Michael Goldman .... assistant film editor (as Michal Goldman)
Terry Haggar .... color timer (special edition)
Jordan Leondopoulos .... supervising field editor
Ross Levy .... assistant film editor: Iraq sequence
Craig McKay .... assistant film editor
Bob McMillian .... color consultant (as Robert M. McMillian)
Darrin Navarro .... assistant editor (theatrical re-release)
Jonathan Pontell .... assistant film editor
Ray Sabo .... negative cutter (special edition)
Bud S. Smith .... editor: Iraq sequence (as Bud Smith)
 
Music Department
Robert Garrett .... music editor (2000 re-release)
Eugene Marks .... music editor (as Gene Marks)
Jack Nitzsche .... composer: additional music
Ken Nordine .... vocal coach: Linda Blair (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Thomas Bermingham .... technical advisor (as Reverend Thomas Bermingham S.J.)
Norman E. Chase .... technical advisor: Professor of Radiology, New York University Medical Center (as Norman E. Chase M.D.)
Anne Mooney .... production office coordinator
John Nicola .... technical advisor (as Reverend John Nicola S.J.)
William O'Malley .... technical advisor (as Reverend William O'Malley S.J.)
Dan Perri .... title designer
Nicholas Sgarro .... script supervisor (as Nick Sgarro)
Albert M. Shapiro .... administrative assistant (as Albert Shapiro)
Arthur I. Snyder .... technical advisor (as Arthur I. Snyder M.D.)
Herbert E. Walker .... technical advisor (as Herbert E. Walker M.D.)
Victor Argo .... voice (uncredited)
Michael Cristofer .... voice (uncredited)
Eileen Dietz .... double: Regan MacNeil (uncredited)
Liam Dunn .... voice (uncredited)
Philippa Harris .... voice (uncredited)
Claudia Lennear .... voice (uncredited)
Kitty Malone .... voice (uncredited)
Howard Newman .... publicist (uncredited)
Maidie Norman .... voice (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Exorcist: The Version You Haven't Seen Yet" - USA (recut version)
"The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen" - USA (promotional title)
"William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist" - USA (reissue title)
"Exorcist" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for strong language and disturbing images (Approved No. 23433)
Runtime:
122 min | 132 min (director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (1979 re-release) | DTS-ES (director's cut) | Dolby Digital EX (director's cut) | Mono (original release) | SDDS (director's cut)
Certification:
Argentina:16 (director's cut) | Argentina:18 (original rating) | Australia:R | Australia:MA (TV rating) | Brazil:14 (TV rating - 1988) (video rating - 2001) | Brazil:18 (original rating) | Brazil:12 (cinema rating) (1998) | Brazil:16 (cinema rating) (1987) | Canada:18A (Alberta/British Columbia) (2000 re-release) | Canada:R (Manitoba) (also 2000 version) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) (2000 re-release) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) (original rating) | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:AA (Ontario) (2000 re-release) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Canada:14A (re-rating) | Canada:R (video rating) | Canada:18 (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (1998) | Chile:18 (original rating) | Chile:14 (re-rating) (2000) | Finland:K-16 (2013) | Finland:K-18 (1974) | France:12 (director's cut) | France:16 (original rating) | Germany:16 (bw) (2001 re-release) | Hong Kong:IIB | Hungary:18 | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Israel:18 | Italy:VM14 | Japan:PG-12 | Malaysia:(Banned) | Mexico:C | Mexico:B (2000) | Netherlands:16 (director's cut) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) | New Zealand:R18 (original rating) | New Zealand:R16 (re-rating) (2000) | Norway:18 | Norway:15 (2000) | Peru:18 | Philippines:R-18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:(Banned) (original rating) | Singapore:R(A) (re-rating) (cut) | Singapore:M18 (video rating) (cut) | South Korea:15 | Spain:18 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:(Banned) (original rating) | UK:18 (re-rating) (2008) | UK:18 (re-rating) (1990) | USA:R (Approved No. 23433) | USA:TV-14 (TV rating) | West Germany:18 (bw)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ellen Burstyn received a permanent spinal injury during filming. In the sequence where she is thrown away from her possessed daughter, a harness jerked her hard away from the bed. She fell on her coccyx and screamed in pain.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Father Karras visits his mother at her house, he removes his collar and places it edge-wise on the shelf. In the next shot, the collar is lying down at a different angle.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Boy:[in Arabic] They've found something... small pieces.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Study No. 2See more »

FAQ

Why does Regan react in pain to the tap water?
What were the noises in the attic?
What is 'The Exorcist' about?
See more »
304 out of 350 people found the following review useful.
The Devil Made Her Do It, 20 July 2004
Author: clydestuff from United States

In late 1973 and early 1974, women and men were lined up for blocks. People were known to become ill watching it. Some fainted. Some ran out of the theater in tears. There were reports of people having to be institutionalized, and at least one miscarriage was attributed to viewing it. No, it wasn't a Rolling Stones Concert. It was a film called The Exorcist.

The first time I had heard of something called The Exorcist was on late night television when the author, William Peter Blatty, was a guest on The Tonight Show. The conversation centered around how horrible some of the things in the book were. I had also seen the novel listed on The New York Times Bestseller List, and it seemed as if it would remain there forever. After having been on the waiting list for what seemed like an eternity at the local library, I was finally able to obtain a copy. It was the first book I had read in one sitting since probably Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase quite a few years earlier. And yes, for it's time it was filled with gut wrenching details of what happens when for some unexplained reason; an innocent girl is possessed by Satan. While reading the book I was sure that if it ever made its way to film, most of the details would certainly be either `cleaned up' or omitted altogether. As you know the film was made and it spared the movie going public absolutely nothing in the way of details.

Certainly many of the people who lined up to see The Exorcist did so to watch some of the more gruesome scenes, the worst of which involved Regan's masturbation with a crucifix. Yet, the hysteria went well beyond the fact that such scenes were so vividly depicted. I think one needs to look no further than Mel Gibson's The Passion to find the answer as to why. I'm sure most of you have read the story of people leaving Mel's film in tears, some to the point of being hysterical. From most articles I have read, it seems that the majority of the audience that was moved were those people of strong religious beliefs. For many others, the depiction of the brutality in The Passion may have been uncomfortable to sit through, but weren't emotionally effected to any degree. Much of this same feeling can explain the hysteria surrounding The Exorcist. Those who had a definitive belief in Heaven and Hell, of Good and Evil, of Jesus as The Savior and Satan as the epitome of pure evil were affected by The Exorcist far more than those who were agnostic or just never had a strong belief in spiritual matters. There is no doubt though that much in the way The Passion did, The Exorcist caused many to reconsider how they felt about their faith. The Exorcist made the prospect of Satan being alive and well and a life of eternal damnation a very uncomfortable prospect. The fact that Blatty claims his book and screenplay were based on a true story seemed to give the film even more credibility.

For me, The Exorcist has always been more about the never ending conflict between pure evil and pure innocence than about being an average horror story. There are many more levels to this film than what initially meets the eye. There is no doubt that while the main story revolves around an innocent young girl, Regan McNeil (Linda Blair), being inhabited by Satan himself, Blatty enhances it greatly by adding different characters in various stages of conflict. Regan's mother, Chris McNeil (Ellen Burstyn) obviously cares deeply for her daughter. Yet she is not beyond reproach. In one scene when Reagan's father hasn't called on Regan's birthday, we see her desperately on the phone doing battle with an overseas operator. The problem is not how vicious the phone call is, but that she does it within ear shot of her daughter as if to drive the point home to Regan how worthless her father is. When, she finally does seek the aid of Father Damian Karras, we don't feel that she believes in exorcism anymore than he does, but is desperate enough to accept the fact that it is possible and will take any and all measures to save her daughter.

Father Karras (Jason Miller) is a priest torn by conflict. He is ridden by overwhelming guilt for having abandoned his mother to enter the priesthood. He is torn spiritually by the confessions of those priests who seek his help as a psychiatrist, so much so that he now questions his own faith. When he states to the Bishop that `Regan's case meets all the criteria,' we know that even more than Chris, he doesn't really believe in the power of Satan to inhabit a living being in the manner that it has taken over Regan. Yet, he will do what is required of him as a priest concerned about the health of a child.

Jack McGowran gives a terrific performance as the alcoholic director filming Chris's latest film in Georgetown. Kitty Winn is Sharon Spencer, the secretary who works for Chris and always seems to be in the line of fire when Chris is angry. She is always there but for all the horror she witnesses, Winn appears too bland and emotionless and her performance is probably the weakest in the film.

Max Von Sydow as Father Lancester Merrin is a no nonsense aging priest. He has done battle with evil before and he shows us its effect in every scene he occupies. One could pass it off to being just good make-up but it is so much more than that as Sydow demonstrates all the nuances that brings to life a man who has faced Satan and lived to tell about it. He knows what he is up against, understands he must do it again and the consequences of what that battle may be.

If I have a small complaint with The Exorcist it is in regards to the character of Lt. Kinderman (Lee J. Cobb). I have never been able to buy into the character. It is not the fault of Cobb who is his usual stalwart self in the role. The whole character should at best have only been necessary for a few brief scenes yet; he has several that go on way too long and do not add anything to the story. Even in his scenes with Chris or Damian, Kinderman is so odd that he distracts us too much from their characters and it is Chris and Damian's reactions that are more important to us, not his investigation. For all you trivia buffs out there, Blatty once sued the producers of Columbo, stating they based Peter Falk's character on Kinderman. If memory serves me correctly Blatty lost that one.

As for Director William Friedken, although he won the best director award for The French Connection, for me The Exorcist will always remain his defining film. The Final half hour of The Exorcist are still as dynamic today as they were 31 years ago, French Connection car chase be damned.

It seems that to many of the younger movie audiences of today, The Exorcist has become more of a joke than anything else. That's not surprising considering how many times it has been lampooned, even by Linda Blair herself in Repossessed. Yet, if they were to view the film in a more serious vein, not as just another creature feature, they may just find that there really is more to this film than a little girl spewing pea soup and spinning her head around 360 degrees. It is the ultimate battle between Heaven and Hell and Good and Evil. It is the story of the complete and total degradation of innocence. It is a study in character, and whether a man torn by the forces surrounding him, can regain his faith and his belief in God and mankind to save the life of a little girl, caught up in forces beyond her control.

Call it a horror film, call it a religious film, call it what you want. For me, The Exorcist is and will always remain a classic in every sense of the word. And if I regard you as a classic of any kind I have no choice but to leave you with my grade, which for The Exorcist is an A.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Exorcist (1973)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Just curious... jrtomasso
The hype ruined this movie.. korn_mythe
Why is this top rated movie? suominen40
Could you sleep in the same house as a demon-possessed person? FrankNave
Will another horror movie ever have the impact of The Exorcist? snickz
why did they cast Max as Merrin? fcolli
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