Inspired by the true account of a 1949 Catholic Church exorcism performed in America. "Possessed", tells the story that was suppressed for nearly half a century.


Steven E. de Souza


Thomas B. Allen (book), Michael Lazarou (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Dalton ... Fr. Willam Bowden
Henry Czerny ... Fr. Raymond McBride
Jonathan Malen ... Robbie Mannheim
Michael Rhoades ... Karl Mannheim
Shannon Lawson ... Phyllis Mannheim
Christopher Plummer ... Archbishop Hume
Michael McLachlan ... Halloran
Richard Waugh ... Reverend Eckhardt
Deborah Drakeford ... Mrs. Eckhardt
Piper Laurie ... Aunt Hanna
Brad Borbridge Brad Borbridge ... German Soldier
Rob Tinkler ... American Soldier (as Robert Tinkler)
Scott Wickware Scott Wickware ... Racist Cop
Jefferson Mappin ... Big Prisoner
Nicholas Pasco Nicholas Pasco ... Jail Cop


In early-1950s St. Louis, the strange case of the eleven-year-old boy, Robbie Mannheim, catches the eye of the troubled former World War II veteran and now a Catholic priest, Father William Bowdern. Bearing alarming markings on his little body, while exhibiting a disturbing behaviour and an incomprehensible power after the death of his Aunt Hanna, Robbie's worried parents turn to modern medicine to help their child; however, when science fails, they resort to religion. Now, with the Vatican's reluctant consent, Bowdern must face the unholy entity that possesses Robbie and perform the first documented exorcism in America. But, the dark enemy is powerful, and he'll use Father William's inner fears against him. Can the conflicted priest cast out the demon, and save not only the boy's life but also his very soul? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It Wants Your Soul. See more »


Horror | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Based on the 1949 case of a Maryland boy, which inspired "The Exorcist". See more »


In one of the early scenes, Father Bowden shows a college classroom images of the devil. One of the images was the popular devil head drawn by the artist 'Coop'. The problem is that this movie is set in the 1950s and Coop hadn't even been born by that time. See more »


Reverend Eckhardt: I can't explain it. I thought I was a man of reason, a man of science, and a man of God. I am not sure of anything anymore. The Catholics! We should take him to the Catholics. They know about these things.
See more »


References The Exorcist (1973) See more »

User Reviews

Cheesy But Intriguing Based-On-A-True-Story Film.
25 October 2014 | by meddlecoreSee all my reviews

Possessed is a cheesy. but great made-for-cable movie from Showtime. That's based on the true story of the demonic possession and exorcism of "Robbie Mannheim" (aka "Roland Doe"...both being pseudonyms to protect his identity)- which also just so happens to be the case on which the original The Exorcist novel and film were based.

This film, itself, is based off the 1993 book-of-the-same-name by Thomas B Allen; which heavily relies upon the accounts of Raymond J. Bishop and Walter H. Halloran- two of the priests who took part in the successful exorcism, during which a demonic entity by the name of Dominus was driven from the boy...who would then go on to lead a normal life.

In the film, we follow Robbie-a youngster who enjoys comic books and toy soldiers- whose parents are strict and sometimes overbearing. His grandmother, though, is a sort of mystic, who fosters his creativity...and teaches him about contacting spirits via the ouija board.

Shortly after her passing, unexplainable things start to happen around their family home: bizarre sounds without sources are heard, while inanimate objects are seen moving around on their own. Around the same time, Robbie starts to burst into violent, angry rages; speak in ancient languages; and exhibits extraordinary if he has become someone else entirely.

Terrified, his parents take him to see a Catholic Priest at Georgetown University Hospital. Here an exorcism is attempted by Priest named of Edward Hughes. Though, somehow during the process, the boy manages to pry a spring from the bed and use it to slice open the arm of the priest...cutting the ritual short.

Enter our two protagonists: Raymond J Bishop & William S Bowdern, who are both Professors and Priests at St Louis University. They are assisted by a younger Priest named Halloran, and together, the three men would subject Robbie to a number of ritual exorcism attempts. During these rituals, upwards of 48 people- including 9 Jesuit Priests- had witnessed the supernatural occurrences that had been exhibited through the boy.

Such events included the uttering of guttural voices; knowledge of Greek and Latin; the sudden, yet temporary, formation of words like hell and evil etched into the boy's skin; extraordinary feats of strength; knowledge of things he couldn't possibly have known; pissing; vomiting; profanity; and poltergeist activity.

Finally, after discovering the hidden name, date, and time of changing, left in clues uttered by the spiritual force possessing the young boy, Dominus. The three priests were able to drive the dark entity from the boy's soul. However, the Catholic Church oriented a full cover-up, after the fact.

Whereas some of the acting in this film is a bit cheesy, you've got to respect what they did with a clearly low budget. It has an appealing cult-style and contains some cool special effects. Overall, it is similar, in content, to films like The Entity; with a style reminiscent of The Changeling- which is probably the most realistic ghost film ever made. This is a film that is based on a story so wild, that it will change the way you look at the world. And this version keeps more true to the tale than does The it's worth watching for that reason alone. Recommended.

6 out of 10.

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Release Date:

22 October 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az ördögűző - Az igaz történet See more »


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1.85 : 1
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