8.0/10
355,032
1,235 user 210 critic

The Exorcist (1973)

Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her.

Director:

William Friedkin

Writers:

William Peter Blatty (written for the screen by), William Peter Blatty (novel)
Popularity
587 ( 23)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Burstyn ... Chris MacNeil
Max von Sydow ... Father Merrin
Lee J. Cobb ... Lt. William Kinderman
Kitty Winn ... Sharon
Jack MacGowran ... Burke Dennings
Jason Miller ... Father Karras
Linda Blair ... Regan
William O'Malley ... Father Dyer (as Reverend William O'Malley S.J.)
Barton Heyman ... Dr. Klein
Peter Masterson ... Dr. Barringer - Clinic Director (as Pete Masterson)
Rudolf Schündler ... Karl
Gina Petrushka Gina Petrushka ... Willi
Robert Symonds ... Dr. Taney
Arthur Storch ... Psychiatrist
Thomas Bermingham Thomas Bermingham ... Tom - President of University (as Reverend Thomas Bermingham S.J.)
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Storyline

A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother's terminal sickness. And, book-ending the story, a frail, elderly priest recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy. Written by Andrew Harmon <aharmon@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Somewhere between science and superstition, there is another world. The world of darkness. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Friedkin says in the making of documentary that he cast Jason Miller as Father Karras because he had seen him in a stage play and his performance "reeked of failed Catholicism". See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boy: [in Arabic] They've found something... small pieces.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title. Although it is commonplace now, it was unheard of in 1973. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Special Edition DVD also includes a 75-minutes documentary titled "The Fear of God" on the making of the Exorcist. The documentary includes screen tests and additional deleted scenes, including:
  • Chris MacNeil and Regan going sight-seeing in Washington;
  • after Chris hears about Burke's death, Regan crawls down the stairs upside down on her arms and legs like a spider and then chases Chris and Sharon around the room;
  • Karras and Merrin sit on the stairs during a pause of the exorcism and exchange some words about what's happening to the girl.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ava's Possessions (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Devils of Loudon
Written by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performed by Hamburg State Opera
Conducted by Marek Janowski
Courtesy of Philips Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the greatest ever!!
10 August 2019 | by NpMoviezSee all my reviews

Some movies are landmarks. This is one of them.

Good : There are a lot of goods that I can talk about this particular film. First off, every gothic horror, for example, The Conjuring, are inspired by this film in one way or the other. But, none of them are as good as this one. I love Conjuring 1 & 2, but that might have never existed if it weren't for this movie. So, what makes it so good? We are given a mysterious introduction to an old priest who would play a prominent role later. It gives layers to the character of young priest, which is quite interesting. The set up is done quite well. The story is being told quite well. And it has the most important aspect that most horror films today lack - the dread and actually terrifying scenes. Right from the opening credits, it feels uneasy. It tries to give us a really terrifying vibe. And it just intensifies further and further. Even the scenes having no tension don't feel like so. And, it cuts to some terrifying scenes so suddenly but smoothly that we will be exclaiming "holy (you know what)!". That's some true horror film. It was 1973. You had absolutely no technology or CGI. They still made an entire bed shake which looked so scary and realistic! The 180 degree turn is still an awesome effect. They did it way better, and all of it looked more realistic than CGI! It had some ideas involving Ouija board and exorcism, which are now termed as "clichés". Having watched so many horror films before watching this, it should've felt corny. But it felt real good. There is probably no horror movie, in particular a supernatural or gothic horror movie, that has not been inspired by this movie in some way or the other. And the ones which got as many things right as possible as in this one, were respectively better. This movie is a masterpiece!!

Bad : It has sequels. Damn those pathetic sequels!! But again, good God almighty, only few people know about those stupid movies.

Conclusion : It is a must watch for every horror fan. Some parts may feel clichéd to some, but that's where those "clichés" started. Go with a fresh mind and examine how it all started. I am optimistic that you will love it.

Rating.

Score : absolute 10/10

Grade : A+


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin | Greek | French | German | Arabic | Kurdish

Release Date:

26 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,175,666, 24 September 2000

Gross USA:

$232,906,145

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$441,306,145
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (1979 re-release)| DTS-ES (director's cut)| Dolby Digital EX (director's cut)| Mono (original release)| SDDS (director's cut)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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