Posted on 1/29/13 08:39 PM
A VERY powerful film, the most powerful film I have EVER seen. Forget the terms horror, scary and all that crap other reviews mention to rate a film. This film defies gravity.
It has become fashionable to degrade this film. That is pure arrogance to deny this film its excellence.
The Exorcist is a 1973 horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism case of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother's desperate attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism conducted by two priests.
Being Catholic, it scared the hell out of me. None better made to this day, in my opinion, but I haven't seen all the scarry flicks out there. So f forget Alien and all those other so called SCARY flicks. This is beyond scary, it is the fight between good and evil, period.
The sequels to the Excorcist were mostly lame by comparison. Made my bed jump around all over the place! Play this one for someone that has never seen it, if there is such a person.
Be prepared, if you believe for a moment that there is a Satan, that this is the best of all horror films.
1 Upon its December 26, 1973 release, the film received mixed reviews from critics, "ranging from 'classic' to 'claptrap'."
2 Stanley Kauffmann, in The New Republic, wrote, "This is the scariest film I've seen in years-the only scary film I've seen in years ... If you want to be shaken-and I found out, while the picture was going, that that's what I wanted-then The Exorcist will scare the hell out of you."
3 Variety noted that it was "an expert telling of a supernatural horror story ... The climactic sequences assault the senses and the intellect with pure cinematic terror."
4 In "Castle of Frankenstein", Joe Dante called it "an amazing film, and one destined to become at the very least a horror classic. Director Friedkin's film will be profoundly disturbing to all audiences, especially the more sensitive and those who tend to 'live' the movies they see ... Suffice it to say, there has never been anything like this on the screen before."
5 Some critics regard it as being one of the best and most effective horror films of all time. Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel placed it in the top five films released that year.
6 Director Martin Scorsese placed The Exorcist on his list of the 11 scariest horror films of all time.
7 In 2008, the film was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies Ever Made. It was also placed on a similar list of 1000 films by The New York Times.
1 The film has had a significant influence on popular culture. It was named the scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com and by viewers of AMC in 2006, and was No. 3 on Bravo's The 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
2 In 2010, the Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved as part of its National Film Registry.
3 William Peter Blatty (author) himself has a small speaking role during the scene where Chris is filming in front of Healy Hall. His character engages in a minor technical dispute with director Burke Dennings.
4 Aspects of the novel were inspired by an exorcism performed on a young boy from Cottage City, Maryland in 1949 by the Jesuit priest, Fr. William S. Bowdern, who formerly taught at both St. Louis University and St. Louis University High School. Hunkeler's Catholic family was convinced the child's aggressive behavior was attributable to demonic possession, and called upon the services of Father Walter Halloran to perform the rite of exorcism.
5 Father Halloran maintained until his death in 2005 that he never witnessed the boy display any of the supernatural behavior portrayed in the film; no foreign languages, changes in tone of voice, aversion to holy objects, unusual strength, vomiting or urinating, or unusual markings on the boy's body.[citation needed, may be not true]
6 Many of the film's participants claimed the film was cursed. Blatty stated on video that there were some strange occurrences during the filming.
Lead actress Burstyn indicated some rumors were true in her 2006 autobiography, Lessons in Becoming Myself. Because of a studio fire, the interior sets of the MacNeil residence (with the exception of Regan's bedroom) had to be rebuilt and caused a setback in pre-production. Friedkin claimed that a priest was brought in numerous times to bless the set. After difficulties encountered in the New York production, Blatty asked Fr. King (see reference above) to bless the Washington crew on its first day of filming at the foot of Lauinger Library's steps to 37th Street.
7 Lead female actor Ellen Burstyn has counted 9 deaths that occurred while the film was in production. From security employees to relatives to actors in the movie, 9 deaths. Max Van Snydow , actor in the film, discounts these deaths as not so much a curse but a possibility for so long a film in production.
Ellen Burstyn as Christine "Chris" MacNeil, a famous actress temporarily living in Washington, D.C., with her daughter. She is an atheist, and has a quick temper, but is also a loving mother. When Regan displays strange behavior, Chris experiences an emotional breakdown and tries to find help for her daughter, consulting neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, and finally a Catholic exorcist.
Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras, a troubled priest, vocational counselor and psychiatrist. He suffers deeply when his mother dies, and confesses to have (apparently) lost his faith in God. Jack Nicholson was the original choice for the role, but Miller was cast after Friedkin saw his play, That Championship Season, and meeting the playwright/actor after the performance.
Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin, an elderly priest and archeologist. A quiet and patient man with great faith, he has prior experience in performing exorcisms and is aware of the risks of facing evil. These risks ultimately prove deadly to him.
Linda Blair as Regan Teresa McNeil, Chris's friendly and loving, faithful and sweet 12 year-old daughter. She displays strange and aggressive behaviors after playing with an Ouija board, which are later revealed as early symptoms of demonic possession.
Lee J. Cobb as Lieutenant William F. Kinderman, a police detective investigating Burke Dennings's death. Assertive and cunning, he thinks Regan was involved in Dennings's death, which may be related to the recent desecration of a nearby church.
Mercedes McCambridge provided the voice of the demon, Pazuzu.
Kitty Winn as Sharon Spencer, Chris' friend and personal assistant who acts as Regan's tutor.
Jack MacGowran as Burke Dennings, an eccentric film director and close friend of Chris; his unexplained death while looking after Regan elicits a police homicide investigation.
Father William O'Malley as Father Joseph Dyer, a close friend of Karras who tries to help him deal with his mother's death.
Robert Symonds as Dr. Taney.
Barton Heyman as Dr. Samuel Klein, a doctor who suggests that Regan needs "special" help.
Arthur Storch as the psychiatrist.
Titos Vandis as Karras's uncle.
Eileen Dietz as a face associated with the demon, seen only in visions and flash cuts.
William Peter Blatty himself has a small speaking role during the scene where Chris is filming in front of Healy Hall. His character engages in a minor technical dispute with director Burke Dennings.
Directed by William Friedkin
Produced by William Peter Blatty
Screenplay by William Peter Blatty
Based on The Exorcist by
William Peter Blatty
Music by Jack Nitzsche (additional)
Cinematography Owen Roizman
Editing by Norman Gay
Distributed by Warner Bros.
December 26, 1973
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Budget $12 million
Box office $441,071,011