The Exorcist (1973) Poster


Ellen Burstyn: Chris MacNeil



  • Dr. Barringer, Clinic Director : It looks like a type of disorder that you rarely ever see any more, except in primitive cultures. We call it a somnambuliform possession. Quite frankly, we don't know much about it except that it starts with some conflict or guilt that eventually leads to the patient's delusion that his body's been invaded by an alien intelligence, a spirit if you will.

    Chris MacNeil : Look, I'm telling you again and you'd better believe it: I'm not about to put her in a goddamn asylum! And I don't care what you call it! I'm not putting her away!

    Dr. Barringer, Clinic Director : I'm sorry.

    Chris MacNeil : You're sorry! Jesus Christ, 88 doctors and all you can tell me with all of your bullshit is...

    Dr. Barringer, Clinic Director : There is one outside chance of a cure. I think of it as shock treatment. As I say, there is an outside chance...

    Chris MacNeil : Will you just name it, for God's sake? What is it?

    Male Doctor : Do you have any religious beliefs?

    Chris MacNeil : No.

    Female Doctor : What about your daughter?

    Chris MacNeil : No, why?

    Dr. Barringer, Clinic Director : Have you ever heard of exorcism? It's a stylized ritual in which rabbis or priests try to drive out the so-called invading spirit. It's pretty much discarded these days, except by the Catholics who keep it in the closet as a sort of embarrassment. It has worked, in fact, although not for the reason they think, of course. It was purely the force of suggestion. The victim's belief in possession helped cause it. And just in the same way, this belief in the power of exorcism can make it disappear.

  • Chris MacNeil : What are you doing here?

    Regan : My bed was shaking. I can't get to sleep.

  • Chris MacNeil : [as the Ouija planchette pulls away]  You really don't want me to play, huh?

    Regan : No, I do. Captain Howdy said no.

    Chris MacNeil : Captain who?

    Regan : Captain Howdy.

    Chris MacNeil : Who's Captain Howdy?

    Regan : You know, I make the questions and he does the answers.

    Chris MacNeil : Oh, Captain Howdy...

  • Regan : Mother? What's wrong with me?

    Chris MacNeil : It's just like the doctor said. It's nerves, and that's all. You just take your pills and you'll be fine, really. Okay?

  • [2000 version] 

    Chris MacNeil : Well, give me an example. Like what specifically did she say?

    Dr. Klein : Specifically, Mrs. MacNeil, she advised me to "keep my fingers away from her goddamned cunt."

  • [2000 version] 

    Father Merrin : [on his way to begin the exorcism]  What is your daughter's middle name, Mrs. MacNeil?

    Chris MacNeil : Teresa.

    Father Merrin : What a lovely name.

  • Chris MacNeil : Is it over?

    Father Karras : No

    Chris MacNeil : Is she going to die?

    Father Karras : No!

  • Chris MacNeil : You show me Regan's double, same face, same voice, everything. And I'd know it wasn't Regan. I'd know in my gut. And I'm telling you that 'thing' upstairs isn't my daughter. Now, I want you to tell me that you know for a fact that there's nothing wrong with my daughter, except in her mind. You tell me for a fact that an exorcism wouldn't do any good. You tell me that!

  • [last lines - original version] 

    Chris MacNeil : Father Dyer? I thought you'd like to keep this.

  • Chris MacNeil : How do you go about getting an exorcism?

    Father Karras : I beg your pardon?

  • Chris MacNeil : Would you like some bourbon in that, father?

    Father Merrin : Well, my doctor says I shouldn't but thank God my will is weak.

  • Chris MacNeil : Operator, you've given me the number four times. What did you do, take an illiteracy test to get that job for Christ sake?

  • Regan : But ya like him.

    Chris MacNeil : Of course I like him. I like pizzas, too, but I'm not gonna marry one.

  • Dr. Barringer, Clinic Director : There is one outside chance for a cure. I think of it as shock treatment - as I said, it's a very outside chance... Have you ever heard of exorcism? Well, it's a stylized ritual in which the rabbi or the priest try to drive out the so-called invading spirit. It's been pretty much discarded these days except by the Catholics who keep it in the closet as a sort of an embarrassment, but uh, it has worked. In fact, although not for the reasons they think, of course. It's purely a force of suggestion. The victim's belief in possession is what helped cause it, so in that same way, a belief in the power of exorcism can make it disappear.

    Chris MacNeil : You're telling me that I should take my daughter to a witch doctor? Is that it?

  • Burke Dennings : Shall we summon the writer? He's in Paris.

    Chris MacNeil : Hiding?

    Burke Dennings : Fucking.

  • Chris MacNeil : Oh no, that was no spasm. I got on the bed. The whole bed was thumping and rising off the floor and shaking. The whole thing, with me on it!

    Dr. Klein : Mrs. MacNeil, the problem with your daughter is not her bed; it's her brain.

  • Chris MacNeil : We've got rats in the attic. You better get some traps.

    Karl : Rats?

    Chris MacNeil : Mm-hmm. 'Fraid so.

    Karl : But the attic is clean.

    Chris MacNeil : All right, then we've got clean rats.

  • Regan : Captain Howdy, do you think my mom's pretty?... Captain Howdy?... Captain Howdy, that isn't very nice!

    Chris MacNeil : Well, maybe he's sleeping.

  • Chris MacNeil : How does a doctor end up as a priest?

    Father Karras : It's the other way around; the Society put me through Medical School.

  • Dr. Klein : Do you keep any drugs in your house?

    Chris MacNeil : No, of course not, nothing like that.

    Dr. Klein : Are you sure?

    Chris MacNeil : Well, of course I'm sure. I'd tell you. Christ, I don't even smoke grass.

  • Sharon : I should have known better. I'm sorry.

    Chris MacNeil : Yeah, I guess you should have.

    Sharon : How were the tests?

    Chris MacNeil : We have to start looking for a shrink.

  • Dr. Taney : Pathological states can induce abnormal strength. Accelerated motor performance. Now, for example, say a 90 pound woman sees her child pinned under the wheel of a truck. Runs out and lifts the wheels a half a foot up off the ground - you've heard the story - same thing here. Same principle, I mean.

    Chris MacNeil : So what's wrong with her?

    Dr. Klein : We still think the temporal lobe.

    Chris MacNeil : Oh what are you talking about, for Chrissakes? Did you see her or not? She's acting like she's fucking out of her mind, psychotic, like a... split personality or...

    Dr. Taney : There haven't been more than a hundred authentic cases of so-called split personality, Mrs. MacNeil. Now I know the temptation is to leap to psychiatry. But any reasonable psychiatrist would exhaust the somatic possibilities first.

    Chris MacNeil : So, what's next?

    Dr. Taney : A pneumoencephalogram, I would think. Pin down that lesion. It will involve another spinal.

    Chris MacNeil : Oh, Christ.

    Dr. Taney : What we missed in the EEG and the arteriograms could conceivably turn up there. At least, it would eliminate certain other possibilities.

  • Chris MacNeil : Jesus Christ, Karl! Don't do that!

    Karl : Yeah, but you see, no rats.

    Chris MacNeil : No rats. Terrific.

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

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