Edit
The Exorcist (1973) Poster

(1973)

Goofs

Continuity 

Whille recording Regan, Karras's left hand moves to start the tape recorder, but the cut-in shows him doing it with his right.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Regan insults Karras's mother, the lines don't match her mouth movements.

Boom mic visible 

Once, in the Iraq sequence, the shadow of a microphone is visible on Father Merrin's hat.

Character error 

William Peter Blatty closely modeled the exorcism scene on the actual rite of exorcism in the Church's "Rituale Romanum". Father Merrin can be seen opening a copy of the Rituale in the scene in question. However, the priests depart from the Rituale in two important details. First, there should have been four people (apart from Regan) in the room during the exorcism: the exorcist himself; an assistant priest to take over in case the exorcist died midway through; a member of the victim's family of the same sex as the victim, to help restrain her; and a doctor, to (among other things) administer any medication that was needed. Due to the "2 Priest rule", Fr Merrin should have delayed the second round of the exorcism and phoned the bishop to get a replacement for Fr Karras, instead of trying to tackle it on his own.

Continuity 

In the 2000 re-release, when Father Merrin asks Chris McNeil what Regan's middle name is, she is wearing a fur coat. When the priests enter Regan's room and Father Karras closes the door in her face, Mrs. McNeil is no longer wearing the coat. This was fixed on some versions of the DVD by adding a coat digitally.
The cigarette that Chris stomps out in the park is back in her hand a moment later.
During the exorcism scene, the pillows underneath Regan's head disappear and then reappear.
When father Karras is in the dorm sitting on the bed smoking a cigarette, the priest takes the cigarette from Karras and lays him down on the bed. When father Karras sits up and grabs the priest's arm, the cigarette is still in Karras's right hand. In the next shot, the cigarette is back with the other priest.
In the basement with the Ouija board, Regan is playing with a table tennis paddle and ball. She puts the ball under the paddle and rests it on the table when her mother brings the Ouija board. Clearly the ball is under the paddle as evidenced by the angle of the paddle. In the very next shot, the paddle is flat on the table and the ball has disappeared. In the next shot, the ball reappears as demonstrated by the angle of the paddle.
When Father Karras first goes to visit Regan, one of the bedside tables next to her bed is gone, along with the rest of the extraneous furniture from the room; later, this bedside table is back in place, though with a different lamp than was initially on it.
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.
Father Karras's lighter changes hands just as he is about to light a cigarette in his apartment.
After the initial session of exorcism, Father Damien Karras unties Regan's wrist from the bed and ties them together. When Father Merrin returns to resume the session Regan's wrists are again tied to the bed.
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.
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
At the beginning of the exorcism, Regan's blanket is yellow. Towards the end, when Father Karras is checking her heart, the blanket is blue.
After he is vomited on, Karras looks at some drawings and holds them horizontally, but the cut-in shows him holding the drawing vertically.
The bruise on Chris's face changes from scene to scene.

Crew or equipment visible 

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.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Near the end of the picture, Father Karras's stole seems to disappear in Regan's room, but that's because he puts a blue pullover on top of it because it's cold in there.

Revealing mistakes 

The wire that yanks Chris (when possessed Regan smacks her to the ground) can be seen lifting the bottom of the curtain where her head lands.
Wires holding Regan can be clearly seen during the exorcist levitation scenes.
When Karras listens to the recording of possessed Regan backwards, the questions the priest asks her are heard speaking forward. The questions should be heard backwards.
During the exorcism, Regan is lying on the bed with her head to one side while green vomit is pouring from her mouth onto the bed. When she turns her head to the other side, the tube that pumps this "vomit" is visible on the back of her cheek, just under her ear, which in turn is shown devoid of make-up after the pressure from the pump tube lifts the prosthetic mask away from her neck.
During the exorcism scene, the plasma bottle and stand are tipped over, and the nearly-full bottle smashes on the floor. No liquid comes out.

Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

The final scene when the family is driving off in the black Mercedes, the badge naming the type of Mercedes changes from Sxxx to a longer German word.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

The infamous stairs that Father Karras plummets down are indeed adjacent to the house, though the facade of the wing in which Regan's bedroom is located was added for the film.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Revealing mistakes 

Rubber mats are visible on the steps for the famous fall down the staircase scene.

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page