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The Exorcist III (1990)

A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased 'Gemini' serial killer, lead him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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William Peter Blatty's director's cut of "The Exorcist III" which was thought to be lost. Recovered and released in 2016 under its original title, this is the definitive cut of the film based on his novel "Legion"

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif
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A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S. Army soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out ... See full summary »

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jason Miller
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Temple
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Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
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Lee Richardson ...
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Mary Jackson ...
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Tracy Thorne ...
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Storyline

Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer cheer each other up on the anniversary of the death of their mutual friend, Father Damien Karras, by going to see "It's a Wonderful Life" at the local theater in Georgetown, near Washington D.C. But there's no cheering Kinderman while a particularly cruel and gruesome serial killer is at large. His murders, which involve torture, decapitation and the desecration of religious icons, is bad enough; but they also resemble those of the Gemini Killer, who has been dead for fifteen years. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The horror is Legion. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exorcist III: Legion  »

Box Office

Gross:

$26,098,824 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The execution-style ending that William Peter Blatty pitched to the studio - which was in the shooting script and actually filmed - differs radically from the ending of both the novel and the first screenplay adaption developed from the novel. The novel ends with the Gemini Killer summoning Kinderman to his cell for a final speech, and then willingly dropping dead after his cruel and hated father, a Christian evangelist, dies a natural death from a heart attack. As his motive for killing was always to shame his father, the Gemini's reason for remaining on Earth no longer exists, and he kills Karras in order to leave his host body. In Blatty's original screenplay adaptation, the ending is similar to the novel, except that the Gemini's death is not self-induced, but forced supernaturally, and suddenly, by the death of his father. In both novel and early screenplay, the Gemini's motives for his murders are also given further context via a long series of flashbacks, which portray his and his brother's childhoods, and their relationship with their alcoholic, abusive father. See more »

Goofs

The size of the bandage and the tape across James Venamun's nose changes size several times. See more »

Quotes

Kinderman: It is NOT in the file! It's NOT!
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Soundtracks

Gloria
Liturgical Chant
Performed by Burleigh Seaver
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great movie; bogged down a bit by producer interference.
3 April 2002 | by (Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

Taking a much different approach than the first two EXORCIST films will either infuriate or please viewers depending on their expectations, and there's just no use arguing with people on the merits of this film, because something can be said for those who love it AND those who hate it. However, I have huge admiration for the nerve it took William Peter Blatty to bring his distinct vision to the screen and take big chances with this film. The end result is never boring and it refuses to be stupid, even when it threatens to fall apart from all the overly-complicated plot weirdness. There's loads of subtext here, it's not nearly as dependent on FX and gore than the first film, it has creepy atmosphere to burn and delivers a few great shocks (including a now-legendary hospital corridor scene; though some of the most horrible things in this film are implied, not shown). The writing is very good, and there's smart dialogue and three-dimensional characters played by some first-rate actors. George C. Scott is wonderful (when isn't he?) in the lead, with Jason Miller, Brad Dourif (one of the most underrated actors ever), Ed Flanders, Scott Wilson and everyone else contributing heavily.

I heard the senseless exorcism climax (featuring Nicol Williamson) was added to the film later against Blatty's wishes so audiences wouldn't be "confused," which basically means the studio who financed it take the general viewing public as idiots.

Make sure to also check out Blatty's great THE NINTH CONFIGURATION (AKA TWINKLE, TWINKLE, KILLER KANE), also a pretty underrated movie. I noticed he hasn't returned to scripting/directing film since this was made, probably because it wasn't well received at the time, but it's nice to read other comments and see I'm not the only one who really enjoyed this film.

Score: 8 out of 10


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