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The Exorcist (1973)

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When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director:

William Friedkin

Writers:

William Peter Blatty (written for the screen by), William Peter Blatty (novel)
Popularity
920 ( 184)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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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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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 »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pamelyn Ferdin, a veteran of science fiction and supernatural drama, was a candidate for the role of Regan, but was ultimately turned down because her career thus far had made her too familiar to the public. 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 network TV version originally broadcast on CBS in the '80s was edited by William Friedkin, who also shot a replacement insert of the Virgin Mary statue crying blood, replacing the shot of a more obscenely desecrated statue. Friedkin himself spoke the Demon's new, censored lines; he was unwilling to work with Mercedes McCambridge again. The lines "Your mother sucks cocks in hell, Karras" and "Shove it up your ass you faggot" were re-dubbed by Friedkin as "Your mother still rots in hell" and "Shut your face, you faggot." Several of Ellen Burstyn's lines were also re-dubbed by the actress, replacing "Jesus Christ" with "Judas Priest" and omitting the f-word. Most of the profanity spoken by Regan is also cut out, as are the shots of her being abused with a crucifix and forcing Chris' face into her crotch. There is also a slightly alternate shot of Regan's face morphed into the white face of the demon just after Merrin arrives at the MacNeil house (the theatrical versions only show the beginning of the transformation). This network TV version is rarely if ever used for TV and cable showings today. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Man Seeking Woman: Traib (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Ramblin' Man
(uncredited)
Written by Dickey Betts
Performed by The Allman Brothers Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Suspense , mystery , shocks and grisly horror is this classic terror film
3 March 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This known story concerns about a mother (Ellen Burstyn) and her daughter (Linda Blair), the latter is possessed and two Fathers , Karras (Jason Miller) and Merrin (Max Von Sidow) attempt to free Regan MacNeil from possession by the devil . Meanwhile , a Police Inspector (Lee J. Cobb) is investigating the weird events . And the priests suffering incredible risks trying to unravel mystery of demon living inside Regan .

This is a fairly suspenseful and horrifying story, based on a supposedly true flick . The movie begins well and grows more and more until the scary and eerie finale . Top-notch picture, thanks to fine acting , tight pacing , well mounted edition and skillful special effects with magnificent make-up by Dick Smith . Creepy acting by Linda Blair , due to death threats against Linda Blair from religious zealots who believed the film "glorified Satan", Warner Bros had bodyguards protecting her for six months after the film's release . On the first day of filming the exorcism sequence, Linda Blair's delivery of her foul-mouthed dialogue so disturbed the gentlemanly Max Von Sydow that he actually forgot his lines . The script is awesome , the acting excellent and the direction by William Friedkin plenty of good pace and conviction . Enjoyable secondary cast such as Lee J Cobb , Kitty Winn and Jack McGowran who died at the time finished the movie and added a legend about Exorcist's curse . Dark cinematography in sinister and mysterious atmosphere by Owen Roitzman and frightening musical score adding Mike Oldfield's soundtrack ¨Tubular bells¨ . The tale is rated ¨R¨ for graphic violence and profanity but contains gore and guts . Reiussed in 2000 by means of a special edition by director with ten minutes approximately additional footage with new amazing scenes as Regan downing stairs .

Followed by two sequels and numerous imitations , in 1977 ¨the Heretic¨ by John Borman with Richard Burton , deemed awful and in 1990 titled ¨The Exorcist III¨ by William Peter Blatty with George C Scott, Brad Dourif , Ed Flanders and Nicol Williamson . Furthermore, spawned two prequels starred by a young Father Merrin , Stellan Skarsgard , and set in Africa , both of them directed by Paul Schrader and Renny Harlin .


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