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Carrie (1976)

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.



(novel), (screenplay)
1,732 ( 132)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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


It's nearing the end of the school year. High school senior Carrie White is a social outcast, largely due to being unwise to the ways of the world based on her upbringing. Her mother, Margaret White, is a religious fanatic, her extreme views primarily targeted against sex, which she believes is a sin. She even believes natural associated processes such as menstruation are a sin, about which she has refused to mention to Carrie. Mrs. White's beliefs were taken to that extreme largely because of her own failed marriage and her husband Ralph long ago having run off with another woman. The only adult authority figure who tries to help Carrie with her life is her phys ed teacher, Miss Collins, who is nonetheless warned not to get too close to go against how Mrs. White chooses to raise Carrie, Mrs. White whose beliefs are well known in the community. An impromptu event that happens among Carrie's phys ed classmates against her leads to her classmates being punished. One of those students, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If only they knew she had the power. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

16 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carrie au bal du diable  »


Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tommy Ross's car that he picks Carrie for the prom in is a 1973 Ford Galaxie 500, he also drives a 1970 Datsun 521 Pickup [PL521] when he goes over to Carrie's house to ask her to prom. See more »


After Carrie is covered in blood, her crown disappears between shots. See more »


Carrie: It was bad, Mama. They laughed at me. Hold me, Mama. Please hold me.
Margaret White: I should've killed myself when he put it in me. After the first time, before we were married, Ralph promised never again. He promised, and I believed him. But sin never dies. Sin never dies. At first, it was all right. We lived sinlessly. We slept in the same bed, but we never did it. And then, that night, I saw him looking down at me that way. We got down on our knees to pray for strength. I smelled the whiskey on his breath....
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Referenced in The Real O'Neals: The Real Prom (2016) See more »


Born to Have It All
Written by Merrit Malloy and Pino Donaggio
Performed by Katie Irving
Courtesy of RCA Records
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User Reviews

A classic!
23 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

Perhaps one of the only genuinely good Stephen King adaptations, ‘Carrie' follows the tragic tale of Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), a young girl who is continually made to suffer at the hands of her bullying classmates and not helped by her overbearing, religious mother Margaret (Piper Laurie). Carrie, however, is not like regular teenagers as she has been blessed(?) with telekinetic powers and as the inner rage grows within Carrie so, it seems, do these potentially lethal abilities.

Brian De Palma directed this amazingly stylish adaptation of Stephen King's first novel which is arguably the best Stephen King adaptation ever to be made. Sissy Spacek's performance is one of the greatest to ever grace a horror film. Somehow managing to perfectly embody the typical school life of the usual high school outcasts, Spacek was able to bring to everyone the appalling life that so many teenagers are forced to tolerate. From the opening scenes where Carrie is utterly humiliated at the hands of her classmates after Carrie's hysterical reaction to her first menstruation, to the painfully wretched ending it becomes nigh on impossible not to sympathise with Spacek's character. Spacek was quite rightly Oscar-nominated for this performance. Spacek's performance was enhanced by fellow Oscar-nominee Piper Laurie in the role of the religious-nut Margaret White. In some ways the naivety shown towards Carrie and what is happening to her is amusing but at the same time it is terrifying to think that any mother could allow her daughter to go though such a generally horrendous life. Piper Laurie was able to make this all too abhorrent character her own with a thoroughly convincing and unsettling performance.

De Palma cleverly directs this movie. Instead of immediately introducing us to Carrie's powers he focuses on the torment (and the tormentors) of Carrie first. This allows the viewer to feel for Carrie and will her towards revenge while ensuring that she is not made into a one-dimensional killer. The movie is very well paced and is presented in a brutally clear fashion. De Palma refrains from using any visual effects with the exception of the infamous `Prom Night' scene which was incredibly well crafted and immersed the viewer in this horrifying display of rage. The final twenty minutes of Carrie are some of the most intense and gripping moments to have been portrayed in horror cinema. These scenes without a doubt helped to build one of the most artistic and and incredible climaxes in all of film.

‘Carrie' is not for those who just want to see people sliced up or prefer fast-paced horror as it is presented as a heart-breaking drama with a horrifying twist. The magnificent cast (which features John Travolta in an early role) was also graced with fantastic performances from Betty Buckley as the kindly gym teacher and Nancy Allen as Chris, the deplorable ring leader of this atrocious bullying. In my opinion ‘Carrie' is unquestionably worth a look for horror fans. 'Carrie' is very well directed, with a superb screenplay from Larry Cohen and featuring two of the greatest performances in horror. My rating for ‘Carrie' – 9/10.

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