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Carrie (1976)

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Lawrence D. Cohen (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
436 ( 238)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sissy Spacek ... Carrie
Piper Laurie ... Margaret White
Amy Irving ... Sue Snell
William Katt ... Tommy Ross
John Travolta ... Billy Nolan
Nancy Allen ... Chris Hargensen
Betty Buckley ... Miss Collins
P.J. Soles ... Norma
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Snell
Sydney Lassick ... Mr. Fromm
Stefan Gierasch ... Mr. Morton
Michael Talbott ... Freddy
Doug Cox ... The Beak
Harry Gold Harry Gold ... George
Noelle North Noelle North ... Frieda
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Storyline

It's nearing the end of the school year. High school senior Carrie White is a social outcast, largely due to being unwise to the ways of the world based on her upbringing. Her mother, Margaret White, is a religious fanatic, her extreme views primarily targeted against sex, which she believes is a sin. She even believes natural associated processes such as menstruation are a sin, about which she has refused to mention to Carrie. Mrs. White's beliefs were taken to that extreme largely because of her own failed marriage and her husband Ralph long ago having run off with another woman. The only adult authority figure who tries to help Carrie with her life is her phys ed teacher, Miss Collins, who is nonetheless warned not to get too close to go against how Mrs. White chooses to raise Carrie, Mrs. White whose beliefs are well known in the community. An impromptu event that happens among Carrie's phys ed classmates against her leads to her classmates being punished. One of those students, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If The Exorcist made you shudder, Carrie will make you scream. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carrie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$33,800,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$33,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Red Bank Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was a scene described through newspaper clippings in the book; a prologue which describes the White House being pelted by stones. They were attempting to add that scene to the movie; but it became too technically problematic; so they dropped it. The scene was included in the 2002 TV movie though. (This is the only version of Carrie which includes this scene). At the end of the 1976 you can see what looks like boulders crashing into the ceiling of the White house. This is supposed to be Carrie summoning a hail storm again; like she originally did at the beginning of the story; but the hail stones were boulders now because she was older; and so they crushed her and the house. There were technical problems with filming the last scene where the house is destroyed also; so they changed it from Carrie destroying the house with stones to the house just disintegrating and falling to pieces under the weight of Carrie's power; and engulfing itself in flames. It confused audiences; much because there were technical problems and the scene did not come out like they originally planned it. The house being crushed by hailstones was included again in the 2013 version of Carrie starring Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore. See more »

Goofs

When the mirror shatters while Carrie is praying, it shatters into many small pieces but when the mother comes into the room and the mirror is fixed, it was only broken into a few large pieces. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Miss Collins: Okay! Game Point: 15-14, this team serves!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original network TV version opens with an alternate pan across the girl's locker room with most girls wearing at least bras and panties - Nancy Allen is naked but covers herself with a towel. There is a mid-scene dissolve and some brief additional slow motion in a sloppy effort to re-sync the soundtrack, because this shot was shorter than the original one. This alternate take of the shower scene was shot specifically for the network television version of 'Carrie'. Also notable during this sequence, the on-screen credits are white (instead of red) and centered on the screen. Most profanity, especially during the scene with John Travolta and Nancy Allen arguing while he is driving, is re-looped to remove bad language. However, alternate, non-profane takes are used when Travolta and Allen are stopped in a parking lot just before the oral sex scene (which of course is deleted). In recent years, this print of the movie has vanished from circulation. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Magic Christmas Tree (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me
(uncredited)
Written by Merrit Malloy and Pino Donaggio
Performed by Katie Irving
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
MELDING OF TWO GREAT ARTISTS
18 July 2001 | by KatmissSee all my reviews

"Carrie" is a melding of two great artists, in this case, Stephen King, who wrote the novel and Brian DePalma, who directed the film. This is a tense, exciting thriller that is also a sturdy character study. It's hard to make a film that can accomplish both, but DePalma does it.

King's novel mostly dealt with a telekinetic girl who is cruelly treated by her classmates. DePalma and screenwriter Lawrence Cohen follow the novel fairly closely, with the exception of the ending, which is a great deal more sensationalistic and better, in my opinion. (King himself liked the finale and the film, as stated in his exceptional study of the horror genre "Danse Macabre")

As is the case in most DePalma films, the technical credits are superb. The cinematography (by Mario Tosi)is extremely effective; colors and shadows have never been shot more effectively in a DePalma film since. The film score is by Pino Donaggio, and it marks the first collaboration between Donaggio and DePalma. (Bernard Herrmann died shortly after "Obsession" was completed) Donaggio is among the most underrated and overlooked composers of his time. His scores for "Dressed to Kill", "Blow Out" and "Body Double" are all exceptional and all deserved Oscars. "Carrie" is no less brilliant, as it accomplishes what all great scores are supposed to do: enhance the film without giving anything away. Paul Hirsch's editing is also extremely effective as it was in "Sisters", "Obsession", "Blow Out" and "Raising Cain".

But it is the performances that make "Carrie" stand out. Carrie is played by Sissy Spacek in a performance of such power and strength that she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (the first actress ever to be nominated for a horror film; the second would be Sigourney Weaver for "Aliens")She manages to hit all the right notes. A lesser actress would have veered toward melodrama. Spacek plays the role more realistically and the film is much more effective that way. (Just in case you didn't know, Spacek was a DePalma regular, but off-screen; she was the art director for several of his early pictures). Also, "Carrie" marked the return of Piper Laurie to films after a too-long hiatus (her last credit was "The Hustler") Here, she plays Carrie's mother. Again, a lesser actress would have veered toward melodrama, but Laurie resists the temptation. Her performance is a real knockout and also garned an Oscar nomination (she should have won, but typical Academy genius set in and gave the prize to Beatrice Straight who was in "Network" for a whopping 10 minutes and really didn't do much.)Also, as a side note, this film also is a start for some future DePalma regulars such as John Travolta (his first major studio film) and Nancy Allen (her first major role)

What I really liked about "Carrie" is the absolutely perfect ending. I had commented before that "Sisters" had an absolutely perfect ending. The one thing about Brian DePalma is that he knows how to end a picture. "Dressed to Kill" had a really good one, although some people hated it as well as "Blow Out". "The Fury" has the greatest ending of all the DePalma thrillers.

A small note to finish: In 1999, "Carrie 2" was made by profiteers at MGM. Despite a rich premise, the film was an artistic failure. DePalma had nothing to worry about. The sequel (retread might be a better word) lacks everything that makes DePalma's original so good. Rent or buy the original, on tape (in pan-and-scan or widescreen)and DVD (widescreen)and forget the sequel, even if they give it away.

**** out of 4 stars


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