• The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist

Release Date: 1973

DVD Release Date: March 24th, 1997

R |2 hr 2 min

Plot Summary

One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd -- levitating, speaking in tongues -- her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, Reverend William O'Malley

Director: William Friedkin

Genres: Horror

Production Co: Warner Brothers, Hoya Productions

Keywords: Dark, 1970s, Sacrifice, Daughter, Doctor, Mystery

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    Rarely do movies affect us so deeply. The first time I saw Cries and Whispers, I found myself shrinking down in my seat, somehow trying to escape from the implications of Bergman’s story. The Exorcist also has that effect--but we’re not escaping from Friedkin’s implications, we’re shrinking back from the direct emotional experience he’s attacking us with. This movie doesn’t rest on the screen; it’s a frontal assault. show more

  • 100
    Michael WilmingtonChicago Tribune

    This jolting tale of a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil, her desperate movie actress mother and the two priests called in to exorcise the demon, actually seems a deeper movie now -- more intense, less formulaic or shallow. Yet it's also retained all its original hypnotic narrative grip. [2000 re-release] show more

  • 100
    Gene SiskelChicago Tribune

    Through technical virtuosity at every artistic level -- including the brilliant acting debut of playwright Jason Miller as the doubt-filed priest who assists Von Sydow in the exorcism -- The Exorcist becomes more than a shocking movie: a film with a strong, positive force. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Nominated Cinematography
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominated Soundtrack
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1975)
Winner Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Winner Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominated Directing
Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Art Direction
Winner Sound