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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
545 ( 42)
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:

Now... Open your eyes to... (1976 re-release) 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

In order to bring some levity to the shoot, William Peter Blatty suggested shooting a scene (not for the movie, but to amuse everyone at the screening of the rushes) in which Father Merrin would enter the house, take off his hat, and reveal himself to be Groucho Marx, a friend of Blatty's. The parody would even go as far as featuring an appearance from the duck from You Bet Your Life (1950). Groucho was keen to do it, but William Friedkin got sick that day and the idea was abandoned. See more »

Goofs

Father Karras's lighter changes hands just as he is about to light a cigarette in his apartment. 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

A new edition, labeled "The version you've never seen", was released on September 22, 2000 and includes the following additions and changes.
  • A slightly different opening, which shows the MacNeil's home in Georgetown, then cuts to the opening titles.
  • The scene where Chris MacNeil screams on the phone includes a new music cue and omits the line "I've been on this fucking line for 20 minutes!" and simply cuts to the next scene.
  • A new scene with Regan at the hospital receiving treatment to diagnose her "unusual" behavior. The doctor tells Chris MacNeil that Regan told him to "keep his hands away from her Goddamn c--t." This scene sets up her bizarre behavior earlier and clarifies the scene where Chris tells Regan "it's just like the doctor said, it's just nerves. You just take your pills and you'll be fine"
  • The party scene removes the shot of Regan laughing with the guests, obviously because of her "unusual" behavior in the previous scene.
  • In the scene where Chris returns home and the lights go out, new digital effects including satanic faces and images of the statue, new sound effects, and music have been added to the scene. However in the blu-ray version, re-titled "Extended Director's Cut", one effect of the demon Pazuzu's face appearing on Regan's door has been removed.
  • The "spider-walk" scene has been restored and digitally altered from the original scene. Here, crude wires from the scene have been digitally removed, she comes down the stairs much faster, and a second take with her mouth is full of blood was used instead of a serpent tongue. It then cuts to black, and the next scene opens.
  • Before she grabs the psychiatrist's crotch, a new digital effect of her face morphing into the devil(which is seen in subliminal cuts throughout)including a new growl has been added.
  • A new music cue has been added to the scene with Lt. Kinderman and Father Karras.
  • After Father Karras leaves for the night, a new scene of him examining a tape of Regan trying to talk to her dad has been added and a new music cues ties the new scene and the scene of Father Karras at the mass together.
  • New scenes with Sharon trying to tune out the devil groans and a short moment with Chris MacNeil and Father Merrin(which hints his vulnerability and weakness) have been added.
  • A new music cue has been added to the scene with Father Karras and Father Merrin going up the stairs to perform the exorcism, and a short scene has been added before they enter the room. Father Damien asks Chris MacNeil what Regan's middle name is. She tells him it's Theresa, and he says "what a lovely name."
  • The scene with Father Karras and Father Merrin talking on the stairs (which was included on the 25th Anniversary DVD) has been restored.
  • When Father Karras looks up at the window when he's possessed, a new digital effect with Karras' mother's face has been added, and the scene includes the "subtle morph effect" that was included on the 25th anniversary edition DVD.
  • When Chris MacNeil gives Father Dyer Father Karras' medal, he gives it back to her and says "I think you should keep it", instead of simply keeping it as in the original version. A new short scene of Regan smiling and waving at Father Dyer as they drive away and Father Dyer waving back has been added.
  • The original ending with Father Dyer and Lt. Kinderman has been restored. The 'tubular bells' music cue plays over them walking away, and it ends before Lt. Kinderman can say quote "Casablanca", "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".
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Connections

Spoofed in The Kids Stay in the Picture (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Polymorphia
Written by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performed by Orchestra of the Cracow Philharmonia
Conducted by Henryk Czyz
Courtesy of Philips Records
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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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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