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

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
    Peter TraversRolling Stone

    There's something elemental about The Exorcist, even with the new hopeful ending that betrays the bleak original. [2000 re-release] 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

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