The Exorcist

1973

The Exorcist

Critics Consensus

The Exorcist rides its supernatural theme to magical effect, with remarkable special effects and an eerie atmosphere, resulting in one of the scariest films of all time.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 75

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 419,886
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Movie Info

Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the little boy in the 1949 incident into a little girl named Regan, played by 14-year-old Linda Blair. Suddenly prone to fits and bizarre behavior, Regan proves quite a handful for her actress-mother, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn, although Blatty reportedly based the character on his next-door neighbor Shirley MacLaine). When Regan gets completely out of hand, Chris calls in young priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who becomes convinced that the girl is possessed by the Devil and that they must call in an exorcist: namely, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). His foe proves to be no run-of-the-mill demon, and both the priest and the girl suffer numerous horrors during their struggles. The Exorcist received a theatrical rerelease in 2000, in a special edition that added 11 minutes of footage trimmed from the film's original release and digitally enhanced Chris Newman's Oscar-winning sound work. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Linda Blair
as Regan MacNeil
Jason Miller
as Father Damien Karras
Max von Sydow
as Father Merrin
Lee J. Cobb
as Lieutenant Kinderman
Kitty Winn
as Sharon
Jack MacGowran
as Burke Dennings
Titos Vandis
as Karras's Uncle
Robert Symonds
as Dr. Tanney
Ron Faber
as Assistant Director
Vasiliki Maliaros
as Karras's Mother
Barton Heyman
as Dr. Klein
Donna Mitchell
as Mary Jo Perrin
Roy Cooper
as Jesuit Dean
Peter Masterson
as Clinic Director
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News & Interviews for The Exorcist

Critic Reviews for The Exorcist

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (19)

Audience Reviews for The Exorcist

  • Jul 02, 2016
    Seminal horror film. Simple story: young girl is possessed by the devil and must have an exorcism performed. Ellen Burstyn plays the girl's mother and is superlative as she tries to seek ways to get her help. The exorcism scene is devilishly awesome.This was a breakthrough film in its day and still delivers the frights today.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 22, 2016
    This movie is over 40 years old and still remains one of the scariest movies of all time. A teenage girl becomes possessed by a mysterious entity and her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. The extended version is even scarier than the original. If you enjoy the modern "possession films" then you need to see this. It will put the rest to shame.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2016
    A horror classic. What more can I say?
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2016
    I really didn't find it that scary. It was gross and a little depressing maybe, but there wasn't much else going on. I'm quite a fan of Fredkin, but I just didn't see much point to this. Some moments were quite effective though. It's a technically accomplished film with a genuinely creepy atmosphere, I'll give it that. But that simply isn't enough to carry a whole motion picture. Perhaps if I believed in god and the devil, rather than being an agnostic I might have been swept up in the hysteria this film has generated among film goers and thought it the horror classic many claim it to be.......
    Super Reviewer

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