The Exorcist

The Exorcist

1973 film directed by William Friedkin
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The Exorcist
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The Exorcist is an American media franchise that originated with William Peter Blatty's 1971 horror novel of the same name and most prominently featured in a 1973 film adapted from the novel, and many subsequent prequels and sequels. All of these installments focus on fictional accounts of people possessed by Pazuzu, the main antagonist of the series, and the efforts of religious authorities to counter this possession.

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Produced by
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Written by
William Peter Blatty
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Based on
The Exorcist
by William Peter Blatty
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Starring
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Edited by
  • Evan Lottman
  • Norman Gay
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Production company
Hoya Productions
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Release date
  • December 26, 1973 (1973-12-26) (United States)
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Running time
121 minutes
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Country
United States
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Language
English
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Budget
$12 million
Box office
$441.3 million

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

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Chris MacNeil: You show me Regan's double, same face, same voice, everything. And I'd know it wasn't Regan. I'd know in my gut. And I'm telling you that 'thing' upstairs isn't my daughter. Now, I want you to tell me that you know for a fact that there's nothing wrong with my daughter, except in her mind. You tell me for a fact that an exorcism wouldn't do any good. You tell me that!
  • Ellen Burstyn agreed to doing the movie only if her character didn`t have to say the scripted line: "I believe in the devil!" The producers agreed to eliminate the utterance.
  • John Boorman had been offered the chance to direct, but declined because he felt the storyline was "cruel towards children". He did, however, accept the offer to direct the sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).
  • Mercedes McCambridge had to sue Warner Brothers for credit as the voice of the demon.
  • * * Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine were approached to play the role of Chris MacNeil. Audrey Hepburn was also approached and only agreed to do it if it was filmed in Rome. Anne Bancroft was another choice but she was in her first month of pregnancy and was dropped.
  • # # There were originally many very brief "blink and you`ll miss them" cutaway shots in this film, intended to create unease in the viewer. For instance: when the priest is dreaming of his mother coming up out of the subway, there is a brief cutaway of a face (Eileen Dietz), painted black and white, grimacing. There are two other places where this image is displayed: when Regan, lying on the bed, turns to look at Father Merrin and Father Karras, and just after the head-turning scene. The same image is later superimposed over scenes later in the film: the first can be seen on the hood of the stove when Chris MacNeil has just returned home from speaking with the doctors and the lights go out in the kitchen; the next image can be seen in the scene directly following the former, on the inside door of Regan`s bedroom when Chris MacNeil goes to check on her after realizing that Sharon wasn`t present in the house; the first image is the same as the others: the "painted face"; the second image on the door is an image of the statue that Father Merrin sees in the prologue. All of these shots were removed before theatrical release but have been restored for "The Version You`ve Never Seen".

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