• Exorcist
  • Exorcist


4.6 69
Director: William Friedkin

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow


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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… See more details below

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
In 1973, writer William Peter Blatty adapted his novel, The Exorcist, into a film hailed by many as the most geniunely frightening of all time. A classic tale of Good versus Evil, the story follows Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) as she watches her daughter Regan (Linda Blair) helplessly fall into the possession of an evil -- and foul-mouthed -- spirit. Convinced that an exorcism is the only way to save Regan, Chris summons the help of a psychiatrist/priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller), who on the eve of his mother's death is dealing with his own demons. Director William Friedkin (The French Connection) continues to astound audiences with The Exorcist, as evidenced by various reissues featuring deleted scenes and remastered sound. The film's horrific imagery -- Regan's spinning head, green vomit, and levitating body -- believably turned a harmless young girl into a remorseless creature of hate; it has since become well accepted and even parodied. Friedkin's determination to achieve a realistic story of fear is best demonstrated in a scene featuring one priest's trembling deliverance of the last rites; the director helped the actor achieve an emotional response by smacking him in the face. Aided also in part by quick cuts of a memorably demonic face and the creepy sound design of Regan's wheezing voices, The Exorcist stands as a perfect example of spine-tingling horror meeting classic storytelling.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Numerous viewers allegedly vomited, fainted, or just walked out, but that only helped William Friedkin's film version of William Peter Blatty's best-seller become an early-'70s blockbuster and horror milestone. Flush from his Oscar for The French Connection (1971), wunderkind Friedkin decided on a "realistic," no-holds barred approach to Blatty's reportedly fact-based novel, pushing horror special effects into new dimensions of gruesomeness (and the film way over budget in a bizarrely trouble-plagued shoot). The Exorcist went on to break The Godfather's box-office record, as Watergate-weary audiences piled in to watch the furniture fly and Linda Blair's head spin. Critics were split over whether Friedkin had taken the Rosemary's Baby (1968) mode of subtly suggestive supernatural horror into the realm of gross reactionary exploitation or whether The Exorcist disturbingly tapped into repressed fears of the unknown (including female sexuality). Regardless, bolstered by ten Oscar nominations, The Exorcist helped set the standard for R-rated horror grisliness and raise the bar for blockbuster profits.
Entertainment Weekly
Rereleased in a special enhanced print, with a dynamic new sound mix and 11 minutes of added footage, 1973's infamous "religious" hex horror movie remains the original Hollywood hallmark of Extreme Culture -- a blasphemous, eruptive freak show that's less Rosemary's Baby than a supernatural Lolita's Revenge as imagined by the Marquis de Sade. Owen Gleiberman

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Commentary by director William Friedkin; Theatrical trailers; Tv & radio spots

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ellen Burstyn Chris MacNeil
Linda Blair Regan MacNeil
Max von Sydow Father Merrin
John Miller Father Damien Karras
Kitty Winn Sharon
Lee J. Cobb Lt. Kinderman
Jack MacGowran Burke Dennings
William O'Malley Father Dyer
Barton Heyman Dr. Klein
Peter Masterson Clinic Director
Rudolf Schundler Karl
Robert Symonds Dr. Tanney
Ron Faber Assistant Director
Donna Mitchell Mary Jo Perrin
Roy Cooper Jesuit Dean
Robert Gerringer Senator
Mercedes McCambridge The Demon
Vasiliki Maliaros Karras' Mother
Titos Vandis Karras' Uncle
Wallace Rooney Bishop

Technical Credits
William Friedkin Director
Richard Baker Makeup Special Effects
William Peter Blatty Producer,Screenwriter
George Crumb Score Composer
Dick Smith Makeup Special Effects
Terry Donnelly Asst. Director
Jean-Louis Ducarme Sound/Sound Designer
Gonzalo Gavira Sound/Sound Designer
Norman Gay Editor
Buzz Knudson Sound/Sound Designer
Evan Lottman Editor
William Malley Production Designer
Noel Marshall Executive Producer
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Jack Nitzsche Score Composer
Owen Roizman Cinematographer
Jerry Wunderlich Set Decoration/Design
Marv Ystrom Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Exorcist
1. Iraq: Interesting Finds [4:19]
2. "Something I Must Do" [4:26]
3. Face-To-Face [1:43]
4. Rats In the Attic [2:34]
5. On the Set [1:56]
6. Chris' Walk Home [1:13]
7. Mother and Daughter [1:29]
8. Karras Visits His Mother [4:25]
9. The Ouija Board [1:26]
10. Birthday Ideas [2:18]
11. Lost and Unconnected [1:56]
12. Attic Noises [3:13]
13. Chapel Desecration [1:09]
14. Nervous Disorder [4:24]
15. The Hospital [2:35]
16. Chris' Party [1:59]
17. "You're Gonna Die" [2:18]
18. "Make It Stop!" [1:14]
19. And I Shall Be Healed [3:01]
20. Temporal Lobe Diagnosis [4:23]
21. "The Sow is Mine!" [2:02]
22. Pathological State? [3:25]
23. Death Strikes; the Stairs [3:20]
24. Psychiatric Exam [:07]
25. From Garfield to Mineo [1:43]
26. Heard of Exorcism? [5:12]
27. Scene of the Crime [2:25]
28. Kinderman's Theory [2:33]
29. "Do You Know What She Did?" [4:51]
30. Just Help Her [1:36]
31. Unwelcome Visitor [4:05]
32. That Thing Upstairs [2:15]
33. Holywater and Tongues [3:16]
34. Chris' Realization [3:44]
35. English In Reverse [2:34]
36. Body Language [1:09]
37. Choosing the Exorcist [1:09]
38. Merrin Arrives [1:54]
39. Ritual Guidelines [3:09]
40. "I Cast You Out" [1:24]
41. "The Power of Christ" [5:53]
42. Karras' Own Demons [3:40]
43. Merrin's Final Battle [3:41]
44. "Take Me!" [3:23]
45. Absolution [1:21]
46. A Keepsake From Karras [:45]
47. "I've Got Passes" [3:34]
48. End Credits [1:24]

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