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The 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


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.

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

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

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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The Exorcist 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was so frightning that I could't sleep for a week and kept getting nightmares and would never see this movie again but then afterwards I started not to be scared anymore of it and started watching it but am still scared of Regan and her weird spooky sick looking face and the part where he turns her head as the priests are reading something in a book. That part was nasty and you can hear the head bones cracking as the head slowly turns around shoulders. The scariest movie of all time no matter what anyone would say. Next to it would be Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Ring and somewhere near Ginger Snaps.
Guest More than 1 year ago
im 9 years old and i saw this movie and im a horror fan fannatic and dang did it rock or wat but i didnt really think it was scary but they were right about 1 thing its defintly not for the weak stomach.there was only 1 scene that kind of freaked me out it was when all those images of the devil/demonic popped up,that was pretty scaryy!the weird parts were:when the priest was reading a segment from the bible and blessed regan than alll of a sudden she twisted her head around that was wicked,also when she does the "spider walk" down the stairs and blood leaks out of her mouth that was so koool,lol,also like when shes getttin blessed at the church and all of a sudden the devil screams and tries to scratch out of her body(that explains her weird looking face)and when she bangs her head and pukes up pea soup that was unforgettable!So if u think u hav the stomach to watch such a kool movie like this pleese,u got a rent this movie you will never 4get it!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best movies ever made! All horror fans will love this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so awesome,the only scary part for me is when she was up in her bedroom flingin' her head everywhere. The only part that really freaked me out was when she walked down the stairs in a back-bend position with blood all runnin' out of her mouth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No horror movie comes close this tour de force of violence and supernatural evil. The head twisting around, priests when they were still pious, and vomit going everywhere within the compass of the moral decay of America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie actually the scariest movie of all time and the dvd box can some that up for you. I think that if you watch this movie you will get scaried to death. I think that this movie was the one that started all supernatural movies about possession and was actually based on a true story. The film was scary and so was the book. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After all of the imitators and rip-offs, The Exorcist still stands as the most frightening and profound horror films of all time. It's influence knows no bounds and it is a true masterpiece, not just in the horror genre, but movie making in general. It's mix of Catholic iconography, demonic possesion, and viseral terror was a shocking reflection of post hippie America and a jolting ride into the disillusionment of the 1970's. The perfect film for it's time. Friedken manages to put you in the room with the demon with some of the most creative and down-right terrifying imagery ever put to film. This film is alive, and it's as though you can feel the cold and fear it oozes. From the special effects to the inventive sound mixing, you are pushed and pulled to the heights of hysteria and Friedken is in total control the entire time. The performances are flawless as well, with Jason Miller putting in the finest work of his career. If you have not seen this movie watch it alone, and in the dark, and prepare yourself. This is a near perfect film that should be seen by any serious fan of cinema.
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goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
after watching The Exorcist i admit its gonna freak you out a young girl 12 years of age Regan isn't herself because somebody else is inside her making her all crazy wow and let me just say i agree this movie is not for children it could scare them if you love horror then your gonna love The Exorcist great horror!
Pfaye14 More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie in the Theater and it freaked me out! I tokk my younger cousin to see it and to this day, if I mention the name of the movie, she screams I do not want to talk about it! I luv Horror and this one still shakes me up to the day. Can not wait to get the Blue Ray edition for my collection. Watch this movie!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm 40 years old and have seen this movie at least a dozen times. The ''new'' version with Regan crab walking down the stairs gave me the ''best'' scare I've had in a long time. No movie touches this one when it comes to scary...........I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's not pretty, there's not a bunch of clean faced teenaged kids running around, no annoying comic relief. It is dark and serious the hole way through. No messing around. The scariest movie ever made.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have watched this movie several times and believe me every time I watched it I get more scared. This movie was well directed and edited. For those who enjoy scary movies this one is for you others be ware from watching it. Also not recommended for those who have heart problems!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a subereb masterpice. It is as if it could actually happen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most scariest movies ever made. I am almost thirty and still get scared to have all the lights out after watching this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Disturbing? You betcha!!! Good stuff too....CLASSIC. Definitly NOT fun for the whole family however as the dolt who only gave the movie one star so unimaginatively pointed out. Hence the ''R'' rating here folks. Put the kids to bed (I know THAT in itself can be challenging as I've got FOUR of my own) and enjoy everything this film has to offer. It 'aint Sleepless In Seattle, but if you love that feeling when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.....BUY it, WATCH IT and you'll LOVE it!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is subtle one moment, and in-your-face the next. It is the one movie that stays with me long after a viewing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I saw this film I was 17. I will be 36 in 2 months and I just saw it last week and to me it's still the scariest movie ever!! I need a few months to get her face out of my mind again !
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was very scary but great its the best video i have seen after i wactched this i had to sleep wit the lights on for about a week hope the other people enjoyed tanks for selling it to me because im only 12
Guest More than 1 year ago
They just don't make really scary movies anymore and this is ''VERY SCARY''!!!! I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!