Taglines: Now… Open your eyes to…
A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother’s terminal sickness. And, book-ending the story, a frail, elderly priest recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy.
The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, 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 book, inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe, deals with the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win back her child through an exorcism conducted by two priests. The adaption is relatively faithful to the book, which itself has been commercially successful (hitting the New York Times bestseller list).
The film has had a significant influence on popular culture. Later figures in horror such as Stephen King have praised the work as an influence. Several publications have regarded it one of the best horror films in history. For example, it was named the scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 1999, by Movies.com in 2010, by viewers of AMC in 2006, and by the editors of Time Out in 2014. In addition, a scene from the film was ranked #3 on Bravo’s The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. In 2010, the Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved as part of its National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. A new television series is currently in development for Fox.
The Exorcist (1973)
Directed by: William Friedkin
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Kitty Winn, Peter Masterson, Rudolf Schündler, Gina Petrushka
Screenplay by: William Peter Blatty
Production Design by: Bill Malley
Cinematography by: Owen Roizman
Film Editing by: Norman Gay, Evan A. Lottman
Costume Design by: Joseph Fretwell
Set Decoration by: Jerry Wunderlich
Art Direction by: John Robert Lloyd
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 26, 1973