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The Exorcist III (1990)

A police Lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased Gemini serial killer, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Writers:

William Peter Blatty (screenplay), William Peter Blatty (novel) | 1 more credit »

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Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Kinderman
Ed Flanders ... Father Dyer
Brad Dourif ... The Gemini Killer
Jason Miller ... Patient X
Nicol Williamson ... Father Morning
Scott Wilson ... Dr. Temple
Nancy Fish ... Nurse Allerton
George DiCenzo ... Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
Don Gordon ... Ryan
Lee Richardson ... University President
Grand L. Bush ... Sergeant Atkins
Mary Jackson ... Mrs. Clelia
Viveca Lindfors ... Nurse X
Ken Lerner ... Dr. Freedman
Tracy Thorne ... Nurse Keating
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Storyline

Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer cheer each other up on the anniversary of the death of their mutual friend, Father Damien Karras, by going to see "It's a Wonderful Life" at the local theater in Georgetown, near Washington D.C. But there's no cheering Kinderman while a particularly cruel and gruesome serial killer is at large. His murders, which involve torture, decapitation and the desecration of religious icons, is bad enough; but they also resemble those of the Gemini Killer, who has been dead for fifteen years. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The horror is Legion. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Exorcist 3 See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$26,098,824

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,925,427
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The murderous robed figure with head chopper, attacking the nurse after that ten minute tease of a long-shot, is frequently cited as one of horror cinema's scariest scenes. The frightening device appears twice in this film. See more »

Goofs

The movie suggests that Kinderman and Father Karras/Patient X were longtime friends, but they only met once in the original film, and their meeting could hardly be called cordial. See more »

Quotes

Patient X: I have dreams... of a rose, and then of falling down a long flight of steps.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some European prints are rumored to include a scene depicting the violent killing of a priest, removed from the US version after unsuccessful sneak previews. A shot from this scene, showing the beheaded priest sitting on a bench and holding his own head in his lap, can be seen in the French publicity stills. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema: Horror (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Gloria
Liturgical Chant
Performed by Burleigh Seaver
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Flawed though it is, I have a soft spot for this film for its intelligent, non-ironic journey into darkness.
23 January 1999 | by Milo JeromeSee all my reviews

William Peter Blatty can really write. Prose and dialogue. No argument. But can he direct a movie? On the strength of 'Exorcist III,' yes he can. This isn't to say that the film doesn't have its problems. On the contrary, its biggest problem, the out-of-character 'crowd-pleasing' SFX climax stops it from being one of the greats. So why do I have a soft spot for this film? If, like me, you appreciate horror films that are both scary and made for grown-ups, 'Exorcist III' is refreshing and memorable for its intelligent, non-ironic journey into darkness and for its refusal (bar that ending) to dumb down for the kids. If 'Scream' is your idea of a great horror movie, this isn't one for you! The cast is not nearly young and attractive enough, there are nowhere near enough gags (though Blatty's dry, sardonic wit is happily in evidence) and the film has no pretensions at being an autopsy of the genre, therefore somehow lifting it above the films it purports to comment on. 'Exorcist III' is literary beyond 'Scream's' self-referential trivia-chasing (I would love to hear Detective Kinderman critiquing that movie!) Read 'Legion' and you'll have an idea of how good the film should have been. Flaws acknowledged and accepted, don't miss out on Brad Dourif's best performance since 'Cuckoo's Nest,' scene-stealing turns by Ed Flanders and Nancy Fish, or the superlative production design, photography and sound. More than anything else, it's the atmosphere of the film that stays with me. I can recall very few films that have a better sense of the power of stillness and silence. So much of the violence is communicated only in dialogue; your mind reluctantly does the rest.


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