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Carrie White is a shy young girl who doesn't make friends easily. After her class mates taunt her about her horrified reaction to her totally 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 behaviour is not as forgiving and plans a trick to embarrass Carrie in front of the whole school. What she doesn't realise is that Carrie is ... gifted, and you really don't want to get her angry. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
Watching the TV remake of Carrie last week just made me miss the original version all the more. There were so many elements that made the 1976 movie a classic, but I will try to name just a few...
First of all, the original actresses could never be replaced. Sissy Spacek as Carrie White goes without saying. Sissy gave Carrie a child-like quality that no other actress can touch. You not only root for Spacek's Carrie, but you want to reach in and hug her. Equally irreplacable was Piper Laurie who brings a manic energy to her role as the religious-wacko Mrs. White. I loved how Piper and Sissy's southern accents enhanced their characters. I don't know if it was Stephen King's intention or not, but the way Carrie said "Momma" was just so southern. It was fun seeing Piper and Sissy reunited onscreen as southern sisters in the Grass Harp.
Two supporting actresses in the film who get little credit are Amy Irving and Betty Buckley. Irving brought an intelligent, thoughtful depth to the character of Sue Snell. Buckley as the caring gym teacher stole every scene she was in. One of the most touching moments was Miss Collins taking Carrie in front of the mirror and telling her that she is a pretty girl. Then the terrible realization on her face as she wonders if it is another cruel joke. And who didn't love it when Buckley slapped Nancy Allen's face?
Maybe the single most important element in Carrie is the suspense-building music. I can't express how perfectly the music framed every scene. It should have won an oscar for the soundtrack alone. The two beautiful themes still stick in my mind, "Born To Have It All" which was playing in the shower scene and "I Never Dreamed Someone Like You (Could Love Someone Like Me)" which Carrie and Tommy danced to at the prom. Even the cheesy band playing at the prom fit the mood just right with the lyrics, "The Devil's Got a Hold Of Your Soul".
Carrie is campy nostalgia. It really is a time capsule of that era in history. The polyester, the gym shorts and knee socks, the afros and farrah-hair just take you back to 1976. Where else can you see the stars of Welcome Back Kotter and Eight Is Enough in the same movie?
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