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Carrie (1976)

R  |   |  Horror  |  3 November 1976 (USA)
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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.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Gold ...
Noelle North ...


Carrie White is a shy young girl who doesn't make friends easily. After her classmates teased her about her horrified reaction to her unexpected first period, one of them takes pity on her and gets Tommy Ross, her boyfriend and class hunk to invite Carrie to the senior prom. Meanwhile, another girl who has been banned from the prom for her continued aggressive behavior is not as forgiving and plans a prank to embarrass Carrie in front of the whole school. What she doesn't realise is that Carrie is... gifted with deadly powers, and you really don't want to make her angry. Written by Mark Thompson <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A chilling blend of American Graffiti and Psycho. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carrie - Lo sguardo di Satana  »

Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name of the high school is Bates High, a reference to Norman Bates from Psycho (1960). In addition, the four note violin theme from Psycho is used over and over in the film. See more »


When Carrie's upstairs breaking her mirror, the scene switches to Margaret White downstairs at the sewing machine. She is sewing a black dress, but the thread loaded on the sewing machine is bright red. See more »


Carrie: [reading from a library book] Telekinesis... thought to be the ability to move... or to cause changes... in objects... by force of the mind...?
See more »


Referenced in Water Power (1977) See more »


I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me
Written by Merrit Malloy and Pino Donaggio
Performed by Katie Irving
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

the first post-modern horror film
10 November 2001 | by (philadelphia, pa) – See all my reviews

At its heart, Carrie is not a 'horror film', but a film about horror.

The subject matter is physical and emotional abuse; time and time again DePalma returns to the theme of abuse to create a sense of anxiety and dread. And although our hapless heroine is the primary target of abuse (from her mother, her peers, and 'authority') abuse is also meted out liberally to others---violence against women (Travolta/Allen), and public humiliation by authority figures (Buckley/her gym class) also add to the discomfort level (the John Travolta-Nancy Allen relationship is defined solely by abuse---and they in turn are the initiators of Carrie's humiliation).

Except for Betty Buckley's gym teacher, all the characters are cartoonish archetypes---and almost all of these achetypes are brilliantly drawn. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie deservedly have been singled out for praise, but DePalma even managed to get the right performance out of decidedly untalented performers like Nancy Allen, William Katt (who is immeasurably aided by the kind of meticulous lighting that would have made Joan Crawford envious), and P.J. Soles.

Buckley deserves special mention, because she does amazing things with a completely underwritten role. By humanizing what could have been just one more cartoon (the lesbian gym teacher---lesbianism is never mentioned, but Buckley's subtle performance affirms what she has acknowledged in interviews--that she played her character as a lesbian) she provides a central point of reality that keeps the film from spinning completely out of control.

DePalma's intent was clearly not to scare the audience, but to make the audience watch the film from a distance, deliberately plagarizing two of the most notable sequences in film history---Hitchcock's shower sequence and Eisenstein's use of the three-perspective split screen. The shower scene takes place early in the film, cuing the audience into the fact that this is a film ABOUT film. And in the climactic prom sequence, DePalma distances himself, and the audience, from the bloodbath on the screen by reminding us through the 'theft' from Eisenstein that its just a movie at the most critical moment.

There are two significant flaws in the film. For some reason, DePalma interjected a 'fast forward' comedy sequence involving the purchase of tuxedos--the sequence serves no purpose in the film, other than to restate the obvious fact that this is 'just a movie'.

The second flaw is Amy Irving's performance. Its not horrible by any means, but it just doesn't work. Irving has grown as an actress since then (she was the only decent thing about the execrable sequel to Carrie) but the demands made of her in Carrie were beyond her skills at the time it was made. 'Chris' was supposed to be the conscience of the film, but winds up as wishy-washy.

Oh, and DON'T watch this film on commercial television--rent the video. DePalma engages in some sacriligeous imagery that is ALWAYS cut from the film when it is shown on television---imagery that justifies the penultimate sequence of the film itself, and brings closure to it.

56 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
This movie shouldn't be considered as horror. edwintrinh09
Did Tommy develop real feelings for Carrie? TrueGem
Why didn't Margaret home school Carrie? jaltenbu
Who has CARRIE 1976 on LaserDisc ? AUDIO COMMENTARY cowboyboots_12
This movie was only good in its time. jaemostoriginal
Does anybody else have this movie has there scariest of all time smgfan94
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