The Exorcist (movie)

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film , adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name , and starring Ellen Burstyn , Linda Blair , Max von Sydow , and Jason Miller . The film is part of The Exorcist franchise. The book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe , [3] [4] deals with the demonic possessionof a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaptation is relatively faithful to the book, which has been commercially successful (earning a place on the New York Times Best Seller list ). [5] [6] The film experienced a troubled production; Even In The Beginning, movie directors Including Several prestigious Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Pennturned it down. Incidents, such as the toddler of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized, attracted claims that the set was cursed. The complex special effects used in the film also presented severe challenges. The film’s notable moral themes include the nature of faith and the boundaries of maternal love . [5]

The Exorcist was released theatrically in the United States by Warner Bros. on December 26, 1973. The film was first booked in only twenty-six theaters across the US, although it soon became a major commercial success. The film earned ten Academy Award nominations, winning Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay . It has become one of the highest-grossing films in history , grossing over $ 441 million worldwide in the aftermath of various re-releases, and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture . [6] [7]

The film has had a significant influence on popular culture. [8] [9] Several publications have viewed it as one of the best horror films in history . [7] For example, it was named the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 1999, [10] by in 2010, [11] by viewers of AMC in 2006, and by the editors of Time Out in 2014 . [12] rated it as the 10th best movie of all time in 2014. [13] in addition, a scene from the movie was it Official # 3 Congratulations ‘ s The The 100 Scariest movie Moments[14] In 2010, the Library of Congress selected the movie to be preserved as share of ict National Film Registry as being “Culturally, Historically, gold Aesthetically significant”. [15] [16] On January 22, 2016, 20th Century Fox Television announced they were developing a television series of The Exorcist . [17] It premiered on September 23, 2016.


In 1973, Lankester Merrin is a veteran Catholic priest and exorcist who is shown in the archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hatra in Iraq . There are some pieces of the statue of Pazuzu , a demon of ancient origins with whites history. Merrin is familiar.

In modern-day Georgetown , Chris MacNeil’s actress is living with 12-year-old daughter Regan , where Chris has just wrapped up the final scene of a film about student activism by Burke Dennings. After playing with a Ouija boardCaptain Howdy, Regan begins acting strangely, including making mysterious noises, stealing, constantly using obscene language, and exhibiting abnormal strength. Chris hosts a party, only for Regan to come downstairs unannounced, telling one of the guests, who is an astronaut, “You’re gonna die up there,” and then urinating on the floor. Later, Regan’s bed begins to shake violently, adding further to her mother’s horror. Dr. Klein and his associates are finding their way to life, despite the fact that Regan is undergoing a battery of diagnostic tests.

One night when Chris is out, Burke Dennings is babysitting Regan, only for Chris to come home to hear he has died falling out the window. Although this is an accident, given Burke’s history of heavy drinking, his death is investigated by Lieutenant William Kinderman, who interviews Chris, as well as priest and psychiatrist Father Damien Karras, who has been emotionally shaken after the death of his frail mother.

The doctors, thinking that Regan’s aberrations are mostly psychiatric in origin, recommend an exorcism to be performed. Chris arranges a meeting with Karras. After recording Regan speaking backwards and witnessing the effect of the scarification of her flesh with the words “Help Me” on her stomach, Karras is convinced Regan is possessed. Believing her soul is in danger, he decides to perform an exorcism. The experienced Merrin is selected for the current exorcism with Karras present to assist.

Both priests witness Regan performs a series of bizarre, vulgar acts, and confines her to her bedroom. They attempt to exorcise the demon, but a stubborn Pazuzu toys with them, especially Karras. Karras shows weakness, and is dismissed by Merrin, who attempts the exorcism alone. Karras enters the room and discovers Merrin has died of a heart attack. After failing to revive Merrin, the enraged Karras confronts the mocking, laughing spirit of Pazuzu, tackling the demon to the ground. At Karras furious demand, Pazuzu then possesses Karras, leaving Regan’s body. In a moment of self-sacrifice, the priest throws himself out of the window before allowing him to harm himself Regan, and is himself mortally injured. Father Dyer, an old friend of Karras, is going on the scene and administers the last rites to his friend.

A few days later, Regan, who is now back to her normal self, prepares to leave for Los Angeles with her mother. Although Regan has no apparent recollection of her possession, she gives Father Dyer a kiss on the cheek. Kinderman, who narrowly misses their departure, befriends Father Dyer as he investigates Karras’ death.


  • Ellen Burstyn and Chris MacNeil
  • Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin
  • Jason Miller as Father / Dr. Damien Karras SJ
  • Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil
  • Lee J. Cobb as Lieutenant William F. Kinderman
  • Kitty Winn and Sharon Spencer
  • Jack MacGowran as Burke Dennings
  • Father William O’Malley as Father Joseph Dyer
  • Peter Masterson as Dr. Barringer
  • Robert Symonds as Dr. Taney
  • Barton Heyman as Dr. Samuel Klein
  • Arthur Storch as the psychiatrist
  • Mercedes McCambridge as the voice of the Demon



See also: Exorcism of Roland Doe

Aspects of Blatty’s fictional novel were inspired by the 1949 exorcism performed on an anonymous young boy known as “Roland Doe” or “Robbie Mannheim” (pseudonyms) by the Jesuit priest Br William S. Bowdern , who trained St. Louis University and St. Louis University High School . Doe ‘s family has been entrusted with the role of demon – strating demeanor, and called upon the services of several Catholic priests, including Bowdern, to perform the rite of exorcism. It was one of three exorcisms to be sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the United States at that time. Later analysis by paranormal skepticsIt has been possible that they have been acting ill as they have been able to be fired by Doe himself. [7] The novel changed several details of the case, such as changing the gender of the allegedly victimized victim of a child and changing the victim’s age. [6] [7]

Although Friedkin has been very reluctant to speak about the factual aspects of the film, he made the film with the intention of immortalizing the events involving Doe that took place in St. Louis in 1949, and despite the relatively minor changes that were made , the film depicts everything that could be verified by those involved. In order to make the film, Friedkin was allowed access to the diaries of the priests involved, as well as the doctors and nurses; he also discussed the events with Doe’s aunt in great detail. Friedkin has said that he does not believe that “head-spinning” has actually been disputed. Friedkin is secular, despite coming from a Jewish family. [18]


Although the agency representing Blair did not send her for the role, Blair’s mother took her to meet with Warner’s casting department and then with Friedkin. [19] Pamelyn Ferdin , a veteran of science fiction and supernatural drama, was a candidate for the role of Regan, but was also successful because of her career. [20] April Winchell was considered, until it developed pyelonephritis , which caused it to be hospitalized and ultimately taken out of consideration. Denise Nickerson , who played Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ,was considered, but the material troubled her parents too much, and they pulled her out of consideration. [20] Anissa Jones , known for her role as a Buffy in Affair Family , auditioned for the role, but she too was rejected, for much the same reason as Ferdin. The part went instead to Blair, a relative unknown until the film’s success.

Mike Nichols being skeptical. The question of whether or not a young actress, even a talented one, could carry the film on his shoulders was an issue from the beginning, with film directors being asked to do so. [6] As well, the studio wanted Marlon Brando for the role of Father Lankester Merrin . [21] Friedkin immediately vetoed this by stating it would become a “Brando movie.” Jack Nicholson was up for the part of Karras before Stacy Keach was hired by Blatty. According to Friedkin, Paul Newman also wanted to portray Karras. [22]Friedkin then spotted Jason Miller following a performance of Miller’s play That Championship Season in New York. [23] Even though Miller had never acted in a movie, Keach’s contract was bought by Warner Brothers, and Miller was signed.

Jane Fonda , Audrey Hepburn , and Anne Bancroft were under consideration for the role of Chris. [23] Blatty also suggested his friend, Shirley MacLaine , for the sake of the film, The Possession of Joel Delaney (1971), two years prior. [23] Ellen Burstyn received Friedkin and emphatically stated she was going to play Chris. [24]

Friedkin originally intended for use Blair’s voice, electronically deepened and roughened, for the demon’s dialogue. ALTHOUGH Friedkin felt fine in this Worked Some places, he felt scenes with the demon Confronting the two Priests lacked the dramatic power required and selected radio legendary actress Mercedes McCambridge , an Experienced voice actress, to Provide the demon’s voice. [19] After filming, Warner Brothers did not include a credit for McCambridge during early screenings of the film, which led to the Screen Actors Guild’s arbitration before it was credited for her performance. [25] Ken Nordine was also considered for the demon’s voice, but Friedkin thought it would be better to use a man’s voice. [26]


Warners had approached Arthur Penn , Stanley Kubrick , and Mike Nichols , to direct, all of whom turned the project down. [27] Originally Mark Rydell was hired to live, but William Peter Blatty insisted on Friedkin instead, because he wanted his film to have the same energy as Friedkin’s previous movie, The French Connection . [27] Blatty finally got his way. Main photography for the Exorcist began on August 21, 1972. [28] The shooting schedule was estimated at 200 days .

Friedkin went to some extraordinary lengths, reminiscent of some Hollywood directors directing style, manipulating the actors, to get the real reactions he wanted. Yanked violently around in harnesses, both Blair and Burstyn, and their painful screams went right into the film. [19] Burstyn injured her back after landing on her coccyx when a stuntman jerked her around using a special effects cable during the scene when Regan slaps her mother. [19] According to the documentary Fear of God: The Making of the Exorcist, however, the injury did not cause permanent damage, but Burstyn was upset in the film. After asking Father William O’Malleyif he trusted him and being told yes, Friedkin slapped him hard in the face before he had a good time. this offended the catholic crew members on the set. He also fired blanks [22] with a view to the fact that he was more likely to be involved in the projectile-vomiting scene, resulting in his disgusted reaction. Lastly, he had his bedroom set built inside a freezer so that the actors’ breath could be visible on camera, which required the crew to wear parkas and other cold-weather gear. [19]


The film was opened in Mosul , Iraq. The archaeological dig site at the film is beginning of the site of ancient Hatra , south of Mosul. [29]

The “Exorcist stairs” are located in Georgetown at the corner of NW Prospect and 36th St NW, leading down to M Street NW. The stairs were padded with 1/2 “-thick rubber to film the death of the character Father Karras. in order to film the scene [30] The stuntman tumbled down the stairs Georgetown University is one of the most influential people in the world. [31]

Although the film is set in Washington, DC, many interior scenes were shot in various parts of New York City . The MacNeil Residence Interiors were filmed at CECO Studios in Manhattan . [32] The bedroom set has been brightened to capture the authentic breath of the actors in the exorcism scenes. The temperature was brought so low that a thin layer of snow fell on the set one morning. Blair, who was only in a thin nightgown, can not stand being cold. [33] Exteriors of the MacNeill House were filmed at 36th and Prospect in Washington, DC, using a family wallet.

The scenes involving Regan’s medical tests were filmed at New York University Medical Center and were performed by actual medical staff that normally carry out the procedures. [34] In the film Regan first undergoes an electroencephalography (EEG), then an early type of cerebral angiography and finally pneumoencephalography .

The scene in which Father Karras listens to the tapes of Regan’s dialogue were filmed in the basement of Keating Hall at Fordham University in the Bronx . [35] William O’Malley , who plays Father Joseph Dyer in the film, was a real-life Jesuit and assistant professor of theology at Fordham at the time. [36]

The interior of Karras’ room at Georgetown was a meticulous reconstruction of Theology Professor Father Thomas M. King , SJ’s “corridor Jesuit” room in New North Hall. King’s room was photographed by production staff after a visit by Blatty, a Georgetown graduate, and Friedkin. On returning to New York, every element of King’s room, including posters and books, was recreated for the set, including a poster of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin , SJ, a theologian on which the character of Fr. Merrin was loosely based. Georgetown was paid $ 1,000 per day of filming, which included both exteriors, such as Burstyn’s first scene, shot on the steps of the Flemish Romanesque Healy Hall, and interiors, such as the scroll of the statue of the Virgin Mary in Dahlgren Chapel , or the Archbishop’s Office, which is actually the office of the president of the university. One scene was filmed in The Tombs, a student hangout across the steps that was founded by Blatty classmate. [37]

Father Merrin’s arrival scene

Father Merrin’s arrival was filmed on Max von Sydow’s first day of work. The scene where the elderly priest, Father Merrin (portrayed by Max von Sydow) steps out of a cab and stands in front of the MacNeil residence, between the open gates of the driveway – in a misty streetlamp’s glow and staring up at an intense beam of light shining from a bedroom window above – one of the most famous scenes in the movie. The shot was used for DVD and VHS release covers. 1954 painting ” Empire of Light ” by René Magritte . [38]

The spider-walk scene

Stuntwoman Ann Miles performed the spider-walk scene in November 1973. Director Friedkin deleted this scene just prior to the December 26, 1973 premiere, as he judged the scene as appearing too early in the film’s plot and thing to remove it, despite screenplay writer William Peter Blatty’s objection. In the book, the spider-walk is somewhat more muted, consisting of Regan following Sharon around the floor and flicking a snake-like tongue at her ankles.


Special effects

The Exorcist contained a number of special effects, engineered by makeup artist Dick Smith. In one scene from the film, Max von Sydow is actually wearing more makeup than the possessed girl (Linda Blair). This was because director Friedkin wanted some very detailed facial close-ups. When this film was made, von Sydow was 44, though he was made up to look 74.[39] Alan McKenzie stated in his book Hollywood Tricks of the Trade that the fact “that audiences didn’t realize von Sydow was wearing makeup at all is a tribute to the skills of veteran makeup artist Dick Smith.”

Alleged subliminal imagery

The Exorcist was also at the center of controversy due to its alleged use of subliminal imagery as special effects during the production of the film. Wilson Bryan Key wrote a whole chapter on the film in his book Media Sexploitationalleging repeated use of subliminal and semi-subliminal imagery and sound effects. Key Observed the use of the Pazuzu face (in qui Key mistakenly ASSUMED It was Jason Miller made up in a death mask makeup, When It Was actress Eileen Dietzand claiming that the safety padding on the bedposts is one of the most important ones in the world. Key also wrote about the sound design, identifying the use of pig squeals, for instance, and elaborating on his opinion of the subliminal intent of it all. A detailed article in the July / August 1991 issue of the Watchdog video reviewed the phenomenon, providing still many frames of reference for subliminal “flashing” throughout the film. [40]In an interview from the same issue, Friedkin explained, “I saw subliminal cuts in a number of films before I was in the Exorcist , and I thought it was a very effective storytelling device … The subliminal editing inThe Exorcist Was done for dramatic effect-to create, accounting achieve, and sustain a kind of dreamlike state. ” [41] HOWEVER, thesis quick, scary flash-have-been Labeled” [not] truly subliminal ” [42] and” quasi ” or “semi-subliminal” [43] In an interview in a 1999 book about the movie, The Exorcist author Blatty addressed the controversy by explaining that, “There are no subliminal images. If you can see it, it’s not subliminal. ” [44]


The editing of the title is the first major project for the film title designer Dan Perri . As a result of the success of the Exorcist , Perri went on to design titles for a number of major films including Taxi Driver (1976), Star Wars (1977) and Gangs of New York (2002). [45]


Lalo Schifrin’s working score was rejected by Friedkin. Schifrin had written six minutes of music for the original film trailer but audiences were reportedly too scared by its combination of sights and sounds. Warner Bros. executives told Friedkin to instruct Schifrin to tone it down with softer music, but Friedkin did not relay the message. Schifrin later used the music written for The Exorcist for The Amityville Horror , [46] but he has denied this in interviews. According to “The Fear of God: The Making of the Exorcist” on the 25th Anniversary DVD release of the film, Friedkin (known for his temper) literally took the tapes that Schifrin had recorded and threw them away into the lot parking lot.

In the soundtrack liner notes for his 1977 film, Sorcerer , Friedkin said that if he had heard the music of Tangerine Dream earlier, then he would have had them score The Exorcist . Instead, he used modern classical compositions, including portions of the 1972 Cello Concerto No. 1 , of Polymorphia , and other pieces by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki , Five Pieces for Orchestra by Austrian composer Anton Webern and other original music by Jack Nitzsche . The music was heard only during scene transitions. The 2000 “Version You’ve Never Seen” features new original music by Steve BoddackerThe Baxter .

What is now the theme of the Exorcist, Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield , became very popular after the film’s release. Oldfield himself said he was not impressed with how his work was used in the film.

In 1998 a restored and remastered soundtrack was released by Warner Bros. (Without Tubular Bells ) Lalo Schifrin ‘s rejected score. The pieces are “Music from the unused Trailer”, 11-minute “Suite from the Unused Score”, and “Rock Ballad (Unused Theme)”.

That same year, the Japanese version of the original soundtrack LP did not include the Schifrin pieces but did include the main theme Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield , and the titled movement Night of the Electric Insects from George Crumb’s Black Angels quartet quartet .

The Greek song playing on the radio when Father Karras leaves his mother ‘s house is called “Paramythaki mou” (My Tale) and is sung by Giannis Kalatzis . Lyric Writer Lefteris Papadopoulos has had a few years of experience in the field of digital music. Part of Hans Werner Henze’s 1966 composition Fantasia for Strings is played over the closing credits. [47] [48]


On its December 26, 1973, release, the film received from reviews, “ranging from ‘classic’ to ‘claptrap’.” [49]

Home media

Special edition 25th Anniversary VHS and DVD release

A limited special edition box set was released in 1998 for the film’s 25th anniversary; it was limited to 50,000 copies, with available copies circulating around the Internet. There are two versions: a special edition VHS released on November 10, 1998, [50] and a special edition DVD released on December 1, 1998. [51] The only difference between the two copies is the recording format.

DVD features
  • The original movie with restored movie and digitally remastered audio, with a 1.85: 1 widescreen aspect ratio.
  • An introduction by director Friedkin
  • The 1998 BBC documentary The Fear of God: The Making of “The Exorcist”
  • Two audio commentaries
  • Interviews with the director and writer
  • Theatrical trailers and TV spots
Box features
  • A commemorative 52-page tribute book, covering highlights of the film’s preparation, production, and release; features previously unreleased historical data and archival photographs
  • Limited edition soundtrack CD of the movie’s score, including the original (unused) soundtrack (“Tubular Bells” and “Night of the Electric Insects” omitted)
  • 8 lobby card reprints
  • Exclusive senitype film frame (magnification included)

Extended edition DVD releases

The extended edition labeled “The Version You’ve Never Seen” (which was released theatrically in 2000) was released on DVD on February 3, 2004. [52]

The extended edition was later re-released on DVD (and released on Blu-ray) with slight alterations under the new label “Extended Director’s Cut” on October 5, 2010. [53]


In an interview with DVD Review , Friedkin published on the Exorcist Blu-ray on December 2, 2008. [54] This edition features a new restoration, including both the 1973 theatrical version and the 2000 “Version You ‘ve Never Seen’ (re-labeled as “Extended Director’s Cut”). [55] It was released on October 5, 2010. [56] [57] [58] A 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray was released on October 8, 2013, containing both cuts of the movie and many of the released features William Peter Blatty. [59]

The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology 

The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology ( box set ) was released on DVD on October 10, 2006, [60] and on Blu-ray on September 23, 2014. [61] This collection includes the original theatrical release version of The Exorcist , the extended version (Labeled The Exorcist: The version you’ve Never Seen on the DVD release and The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut on the Blu-ray release), the sequels Exorcist II: The Heretic and The Exorcist III , and the prequels Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist .


Box office

The movie earned $ 66.3 million in distributors’ domestic (US / CAN) During rentals icts theatrical release in 1974 Becoming The Most Popular second movie of That year (trailing The Sting ). [62] After several reissues, the film eventually increased to $ 232,671,011 in North America, [63] which would be adjusted to inflation, would be the highest-grossing film of all time and the top-grossing R-rated film of all time. [64] To date, it has a total gross of $ 441,071,011 worldwide. [63] Adjusted to 2014 prices, The Exorcist HAS grossed $ 1.794 trillion. [65]

Critical response

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’s what I wanted-then The Exorcist would scare the … (shit) out of you. ” [66] 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.” [67] In Castle of Frankenstein , Joe DanteIt’s an amazing film, and one of the most important things to do. Director Friedkin’s film will be deeply disturbing to all audiences, especially the more sensitive and tending to be ‘live’ movies … Suffice it to say, there has never been anything like this on the screen before. ” [68] Roger Ebert gave the film a 4-out-of-4 star review, praising the actors (particularly Burstyn) and the convincing special effects of the end of the review wrote, “I’m not sure exactly what reasons people will have forsee this movie, we are not sure why Vincent Pricethriller, but raw and painful experience. Are people so important in this regard? ” [69]

The reviews were not all positive. Vincent Canby , writing in The New York Times , dismissed The Exorcist as “a chunk of elegant occultist claptrap … a practically impossible film to sit through … It establishes a new low for grotesque special effects …” [70] Andrew Sarris complained That “Friedkin’s biggest weakness is His Inability to Provide enough visual information about characters … His whole passages of the movie’s exposure were one long buzz of small talk and name droppings … The Exorcist Succeeds on one level as an Effectively excruciating entertainment, but on another, it’s a thoroughly evil movie. ” [71] Writing inRolling Stone , Jon Landau felt the film was “nothing more than a religious porn movie, the gaudiest piece of shlock this side of Cecil B. DeMille (minus that gentleman’s wit and ability to tell a story) …” [72]

Over the years, The Exorcist ‘ s critical reputation has grown considerably. The film currently when? ] has an 87% “Certified Fresh” rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, based on 67 reviews the website collected. [73] Chicago Tribune movie review Gene Siskel placed in the top five movies released that year. [74] BBC film critic Mark Kermodethe world is going to be the best film ever made saying “It’s absolutely true with the Exorcist-it reflects the anxieties of the audience.” Some people think it’s an outright horror-fest, but it was written by a devout Catholic who hoped it would make people think positively about the existence of God William Peter Blatty, who wrote the book, thought that if there are demons then there are See also about life and death after death, and I thought about it 200 times and every time [75]

Director Martin Scorsese Placed The Exorcist On His list of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time. [76] In 2008, the film was selected by Empire Magazine as one of the 500 Greatest Movies Ever Made . [77] It was also placed on a similar list of 1000 films by The New York Times . [78]

UK reception

The Exorcist was available on the homepage from the early 1980s in the UK. After the British Board of Film Classification created the Video Recordings Act in 1984, the film was submitted for a home video certificate. James Ferman , Director of the Board, vetoed the decision to grant a certificate to the film, despite the majority of the group willing to pass it. It was out of Ferman’s concern that, even with a proposed 18 certificate , the film’s notoriety would entice underage viewers to seek it out. As a result, all video copies of the Exorcist were withdrawn in the UK and were unavailable for purchase for more than a decade. [79]

Following a successful re-release in cinemas in 1998, the film was submitted for release in February 1999, [80] and was passed uncut with an 18 certificate , signifying a relaxation of the censorship rules. UK, in part due to James Ferman’s departure. The film was shown on terrestrial television in the UK for the first time in 2001, on Channel 4 . [81]

Audience reception

Roger Ebert , while praising the movie, believed the special effects to be so unusually graphic he wrote, “That it received an R rating and not the X is stupefying.” [82] Some theaters provided “Exorcist barf bags”. [83]


Awards and honors

Academy Awards

The Exorcist was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 1974, winning two. It is the first horror movie to be nominated for Best Picture. [84] At the 46th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, the film won two statuettes (highlighted in bold). [70]

The film was nominated for:

  • Academy Award for Best Picture – William Peter Blatty
  • Academy Award for Best Actress – Ellen Burstyn
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – Jason Miller
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – Linda Blair
  • Academy Award for Best Director – William Friedkin
  • Academy Award for Writing Screenplay – William Peter Blatty
  • Academy Award for Best Cinematography – Owen Roizman
  • Academy Award for Best Film Editing – Jordan Leondopoulos , Bud S. Smith , Evan Lottman , Norman Gay
  • Academy Award for Best Production Design – Bill Malley and Jerry Wunderlich
  • Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing – Robert Knudson , Chris Newman

Golden Globe Awards

The Exorcist was nominated for seven total Golden Globes in 1974. At the 31st Golden Globes ceremony that year, the movie won four awards.

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Director – William Friedkin
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Support – Motion Picture – Linda Blair
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay – William Peter Blatty

The film was nominated for

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama – Ellen Burstyn
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Support – Motion Picture – Max von Sydow
  • Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress – Linda Blair

Library of Congress

  • 2010 National Film Registry

American Film Institute Lists

  • AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Thrills – # 3
  • AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Heroes and Villains :
    • Regan MacNeil – # 9 Villain

Alternate and uncut versions

Several versions of The Exorcist have been released:

  • The 1979 theatrical reissue was converted to 70mm , with its 1.75: 1 ratio [85] cropped to 2.20: 1 to use all the available screen width that 70mm offers. This was the first time the sound was remixed to six-channel Dolby Stereosound. Almost all video versions feature this soundtrack.
  • The network TV version originally broadcast on CBS in the ’80s was edited by William Friedkin, who also shot a replacement insert of the Virgin Mary statue crying blood, replacing the shot of a more obscenely desecrated statue. Friedkin himself spoke the Demon’s new, censored lines; he was unwilling to work with Mercedes McCambridge again. The lines “Your mother sucks cocks in hell, Karras” and “Shove it up your ass you fagot” were re-dubbed by Friedkin as “Your mother still rots in hell” and “Shut your face, you fagot.” Several of Ellen Burstyn’s lines were also redacted by the actress, replacing “Jesus Christ” with “Judas Priest” and omitting the word fuck. Most of the profanity spoken by Regan is also cut out, as are the shots of her being abused with a crucifix and forcing Chris’ face into her crotch. There is also a slightly different picture of Regan’s face in the face of the demon just after Merrin arrives at the MacNeil house (the theatrical versions only show the beginning of the transformation). This network TV version is rarely used for TV and cable showings today.
  • In the television versions, the image of the obscenely defiled statue of the Virgin Mary remains intact. It stays on longer for the TV-14 version, but not much.
  • In some network versions Regan is not masturbating but having another fit.
  • The Special Edition released on DVD for the 25th Anniversary includes the original ending as a special feature, not used in the theatrical release: After Father Dyer is seen on top of the steps behind the MacNeil’s residence, he walks away and is approached by Lt. Kinderman. They talk briefly about Regan and the events that just took place there; Then Kinderman Dyer invited to the movies to see Wuthering Heights and quotes Casablanca , telling Dyer “I think this is The Beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
  • The Special Edition DVD also includes a 75-minute documentary titled The Fear of God on the making of The Exorcist . The documentary includes screen tests and additional deleted scenes, including:
    • Chris MacNeil and Regan going sightseeing in Washington;
    • After Chris hears about Burke’s death, Regan crawls down the stairs Chris and Sharon around the room;
    • Karras and Merrin sit on the stairs during a break from the exorcism and exchange some words about what’s happening to the girl.
  • The scene where the Demonic entity leaves Father Karras was originally done by filming Jason Miller in possession makeup, then stopping the camera and shooting him again with the makeup removed. This is a noticeable jump in Father Karras’ position as he is unpossessed. The 25th Anniversary video of the Exorcist smooth transition with a subtle computer morphing effect. This updated effect was not featured in the prints used for the Warner Bros. 75th anniversary film festivals.
  • A new edition labeled “The Version You’ve Never Seen” (later re-labeled “Extended Director’s Cut”) was released in theaters on September 22, 2000 and includes the following additions and changes.
    • A slightly different opening, which shows the MacNeil’s home in Georgetown, then cuts to the opening titles.
    • The scene where Chris MacNeil screams on the phone includes a new music cue and omits the line “I’ve been on this fucking line for 20 minutes!” and simply cuts to the next scene.
    • A new scene with Regan at the hospital receiving treatment to diagnose her “unusual” behavior. The doctor tells Chris MacNeil that Regan told him to “keep his fingers away from her Goddamn cunt,” as depicted in the novel. This scene sets up her bizarre behavior earlier and clarifies the scene where Chris tells Regan “it’s just like the doctor said, it’s just nerves, you just take your pills and you’ll be fine.”
    • The party scene removes the shot of Regan laughing with the guests, obviously because of “unusual” behavior in the previous scene.
    • In the scene where Chris returns home and the lights go out, new digital effects, satanic faces and images of the statue, new sound effects, and music were added to the scene. However, in the later DVD and Blu-ray version, re-titled “Extended Director’s Cut,” one effect of the demon Pazuzu’s face appearing on Regan’s door has been removed.
    • The “spider-walk” scene has been restored and digitally altered from the original scene. Here, digits from the scene have been digitally removed, she comes down the stairs much faster, and has a second take over of her mouth full of blood instead of a snake tongue. It then cuts to black, and the next scene opens.
    • Before Regan grabs the psychiatrist’s crotch, a new digital effect of the face of morphing into the devil (which is seen in subliminal cuts throughout).
    • A new music has been added to the scene by Lt. Kinderman and Father Karras.
    • After Father Karras leaves for the night, a new scene of his reading of the scene and the scene of Father Karras at the mass together.
    • New scenes with Sharon and Chris MacNeil and Father Merrin (which has been added).
    • Father Merrin asks Chris MacNeil what Father Kerras and Father Merrin go up the stairs to perform the exorcism Regan’s middle name is; she tells him it’s Theresa, and he says “what a lovely name.”
    • The scene with Father Karras and Father Merrin talking on the stairs, as depicted in the novel and which was included on the 25th Anniversary DVD, has been restored.
    • When Father Karras looks up to the window when he’s possessed, and the scene includes the “subtle morph effect” that was included on the 25th anniversary edition DVD.
    • When Chris MacNeil gives Father Dyer Father Karras’ medal, he gives it back to her and says “I think you should keep it,” as it was originally written. A new short scene of Regan smiling and waving at Father Dyer as they drive away and Father Dyer waving back has been added.
    • The original ending with Father Dyer and Lt. Kinderman has been restored. The ‘tubular bells’ music cue plays along the way, and it ends before Lt. Kinderman quotes Casablanca by saying, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” as portrayed in the novel.
  • In both the TV-PG and TV-14 rated network versions, the image of the obscenely defiled statue of the Virgin Mary remains intact. It stays on screen several seconds longer for the TV-14 version. On the original TV airings, the shot is in the same direction. Edits may vary from network to network, and non-premium cable networks ( AMC , TNT , etc.) almost always show only edited / censored versions of the movie.
  • The DVD released for the 25th Anniversary retains the original theatrical ending, and includes the extended ending with Dyer and Kinderman as a special feature (as opposed to “You’ve Never Seen” ending, which features Dyer and Kinderman but omits the Casablanca reference ).
  • The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology ( box set ) was released on DVD in October 2006 and on Blu-ray in September 2014. This collection includes the original theatrical release version The Exorcist ; the extended version, The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen ; with Linda Blair, Exorcist II: The Heretic ; the end of the trilogy, The Exorcist III ; and two different prequels: Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist . As aforementioned, Morgan Creek, current owner of the franchise, in association with Fox, has now produced a television series of Blatty ‘s novel, which is the basis for the original film.

In 1998, Warner re-released the digitally remastered DVD of the Exorcist: 25th Anniversary Special Edition . The DVD includes the BBC documentary, The Fear of God: The Making of the Exorcist, [86] highlighting the never-before-seen original non-bloody variant of the spider-walk scene.

To the screenwriter and some fans of the Exorcist , Friedkin reinstated the bloody variant of the spider-walk scene for the 2000 theatrically re-released version of The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen . In October 2010, Warner released The Exorcist (Extended Director’s Cut & Original Theatrical Edition) on Blu-ray , including the behind-the-scenes filming of the spider-walk scene. Linda R. Hager, the double lighting for Linda Blair, was incorrectly credited for performing the stunt. In 2015, Warner Bros. that stuntwoman Ann Miles was the only person who performed the stunt.


See also: The Exorcist and The Exorcist (movie series)

See also

  • List of American films of 1973
  • List of highest-grossing films in Canada and the United States
  • List of film and television accidents


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