Carrie (1976)


Produced & Directed by: Brian De Palma

Written by:
Lawrence D. Cohen


Sissy Spacek .... Carrie White
Piper Laurie .... Margaret White
Amy Irving .... Sue Snell
William Katt .... Tommy Ross
Nancy Allen .... Chris Hargenson
John Travolta .... Billy Nolan
Betty Buckley .... Miss Collins
P.J. Soles .... Norma Watson
Edie McClurg .... Helen
Michael Talbot .... Freddy

Special Appearance:

Sydney Lassick .... Mr. Fromm

Release Dates: Theatrical: November 16, 1976; Avoriaz Film Festival: January, 1977; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1981; Deauville Film Festival: September, 2007; Golden Horse Fantastic Film Festival: April 2, 2011; Night Visions Film Festival: October 31, 2003



A put upon teenage girl named Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), who is telekinetic, is constantly being tormented by her classmates mainly by Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) and Norma Watson (P.J. Soles).
She is also abused by her intimidating religious fanatical mother Margaret (Piper Laurie).

Well one day after gym class Carrie takes a shower after the other girls are finished and has her first period but thinks it's blood. She freaks out and the girls throw tampons at her yelling "Plug it up!!!"
Later she is sent home after her gym teacher Miss Collins tells her about girls and their periods.
Margaret thinks she sinned and locks her in a closet to pray for forgiveness as a crucifix and candles are there.

The next day the girls at gym have a weeks detention with Miss Collins giving them push up, sit ups and other exercises for 45 minutes if they want to go to the prom. Chris leaves detention so she is obviously not going to it.
One of Chris' friends named Sue Snell (Amy Irving) asks her boyfriend Tommy Ross (William Katt) to take Carrie to the prom to try and make Carrie a part of things.

Then Chris manipulates her punk boyfriend Billy Nolan (John Travolta) to plan a nasty trick on Carrie at the prom so he slaughters a pig at a slaughterhouse.
He puts the blood in a bucket and then places it with a rope in the gymnasium where the prom takes place at the stage area where the winners of the prom night as kind and queen stand to have their pic taken.
Chris gets her friend Norma and Freddy (Michael Talbott) to help out with the vouchers as they have a bunch of their own and voted for Carrie and Tommy to win while Chris and Billy is beneath the stage waiting for them to win so they can dump the blood on her and Carrie can be humiliated.

They all don't realise that Carrie is telekinetic and also don't realise how dangerous she can be but they're in for a big surprise when the time happens.


The film starts off nicely with the girls outside playing volleyball during their higschool gymnasium and then focuses on Carrie White in which you know she won't be able to hit the ball. Then nice moments on the girls mocking her and getting angry at her leaving it a nice start to the story on a put upon misfit and an excuse for the girls to be mean to her too.
Then they all shower after a big sweat in which this may get a rouse out of the guys watching this plus it shows the opening credits when this is happening along with alot of steam coming out of the showers. While we watch Carrie is alone showering herself kneeling down while doing this while most of the other girls are pretty much dressed up and about to start their next class. This was nicely put in since no one will be there to tornment her either as it also shows this in Stephen King's novel as the ugly duckling with the beautiful swans.
Then as we expect this Carrie has her period for the first time and freaks out thinking that she's bleeding to death in which this will be another excuse for the girls to be mean to her as they all throw tampons at her. This looked quite disturbing to watch with all this happening along with a first look at her telekinetic powers when the gym teacher Ms. Collins tries to smack her out of it and the lightbulb above smashes out. Defientely a nice jumper here.
There's more good telekinetic moments when Carrie acts like a basket case in the principal's office and she stares at an ash tray and the principal says her name wrong when he talks nicely to her telling her to go home early as well as Ms. Collins letting her be dismissed for a week in gymnasium which is another nice pointer since she hated going there in the first place. The telekinetic moment happens nicely when she cries out her name to the principal Mr. Morton when he keeps making a mistake by it flipping and smashing to the floor. Nice effects here for it's time and we all expect that this was about to happen.
Then we spot the real dysfunctional moments when Mrs. White recevies a phone call from the school and then smacks Carrie across the face with a big regilious book manipulating her to cal out her sins like it says in the book when Carrie tries to talk to her as this looked strongly done with what was said in here as well as Momma being abusive by dragging poor Carrie into the closet and locking her in there. When I first spotted this I was thinking that something was seriously wrong here and boy was Momma ever intimidating. All of this was done in a great intensive fashion.
The next day seemed interesting as one of the teachers was reading a poem that Tommy Ross wrote for the class and Carrie speaks out that the poem is beautiful and the teacher mocks what she says. Yet this seemed to be nicely put in as a step for a knowledge that Carrie likes this popular boy.
Then it's gym class as Ms. Collins calls out to see who has attended as this was one of my favourites when she tells them to line up and scolds them on what they did to poor Carrie which is nice to watch to anyone who had a hard time with bullying students especially when she tells them her idea of a punishment for the nasty deed was 3 days suspension and refusal to their prom tickets in which this is any students worst punishment not being able to celebrate their graduation. Then telling them the office has decided to give them a weeks detention but the worst one which is her detention by making them do heavy duty exercises until they are run ragged. I just loved that idea to teach any jerk a lesson on what happens when they go too far.
The excersises with the girls looked funky and fit for it's time with their gym uniforms and tight shorts while Ms. Collins instructs them and of course we see a tomboy named Norma slacking off a bit and Ms. Collins on her about it in which this all looked exciting to watch. But I love a part when the main bully Chris Hargenson quits and nearly tells Ms. Collins off but she smacks her for doing this since we all hope for a teacher to do this to someone who badly tormented us back in school which was one of my favourite moments and done in great taste too. This teacher rocked and showing how strict she can be if no one follows her rules and acting as tough as nails.
We also spot Chris and her boyfriend Billy Nolan cruising in their car as well as Chris acting like a bitch to him by calling him a stupid shit which is a nice one liner for a dysfunctional couple between stuck up pretty girl and a punk highschool dropout along with a moment when he smacks her and getting aggressive towards her which also looked interesting to watch for being such a little brat. Then there';s a sleazy moment with her towards him in a car wanting him to do a favor for her which starts off the story on the pranks about to be pulled on Carrie at the prom. Alot of adult situations are spotted here which looked well done.
Another good scene is when Ms. Collins gives Carrie some encouragement after moping around when the popular school boy Tommy asks her out to the prom thinking that he's trying to trick her again and Ms. Collins tells her that maybe this time he really meant it. Nice writing here making you think of times you liked someone but they showed no interest until then and someone smart and decent giving them some advice.
Then the next scene looks very interesting when Ms. Collins speaks sternly towards Tommy and Sue about it all trying to protect poor Carrie and Sue convincing her that they're trying to help Carrie become a part of things which seemed realistic on what was happening here. Also the mean tomboy Norma entering to give Ms. Collins the attendance sheet and eavesdropping on what's going on in which this was a nice key to the story for some highschool gossip as well as the nasty plan for that prank at the prom.
Some nice one liners with Billy and his friends going to a farm ready to slaughter a pig with nasty sarcastic one liners that's perfectly put in for teenage delinquents doing something illegal as this looked realistic to watch. What I can't understand is why Chris came along as a pretty girl normally doesn't go and watch something gross like this. Also she gets excited when Billy whacks a pig with a mallet in which I found even more twisted but I was guessing that she was looking forward to the prank at the prom with what was planned.
What also looked nicely written in is when Carrie and Margaret are at a table and this time Momma seems to be pleasant towards her until she tells her that she was invited to the prom and she accepted in which things really turn around big time. I enjoyed Carrie's lines telling her that Tommy is a nice boy and then Margaret goes into a religious nasty chant about boy's. Man I was thinking that woman is whacked totally. Plus it was good to see Carrie finally getting wicked after she reveals her telekinetic powers telling her Momma that she's going to the prom and can't be stopped which is a good liner for a psychological horror story.
There's a bit of a screw up in the scene's as there's Norma and Helen after school getting their hair done when they tell the rumor about Tommy taking Carrie to the prom and then after that Norma is at the gymnasium talking to Chris while people prepare for the prom as she is not dressed up at all.
What is good and realistic is when Carrie gets dressed up for the prom and Momma poisons her mind that Tommy isn't going to show up which is a terrible thing to say when you're nervous hoping that they will show up as promised to. Nice moments with Carrie getting intense with her using her powers to slam Momma on a bed when she gets in the way to try and stop her. It works well for the film.
The prom looked funky with a performer singing funky type of music suitable for the time it was released in which people who enjoy the 70's will get a kick out of this as well as the dance hall looking spectacular along with nice one liners on Tommy being charming towards Carrie at their table.
More good writing with Norma and Freddy setting up the brocures to make sure Carrie wins and notifying Chris and Billy below the stage as to when it will happen.
Also when the bucket of blood is on the top ready to dump on Carrie you almost wonder if this prank will backfire hoping that Carrie will be safe. Of course the prank goes through which is disturbing to watch suddenly watching her be overly happy and then going berserk. What was perfectly put in was her hallucination when she spots everyone laughing at her as well as remembering what her Momma told her that They're all gonna luagh at her. The horror unleashing with her telekinetic powers looked incredibly suspsenseful and intense with all that happened at the prom. Great effects here.
Bottom line is that this is no doubt the best horror film in my books. Everything about this film is excellent. It's a realistic look at a highschool lifestyle on kids picking on a person who doesn't belong in their crowd.
It is quite disturbing watching it the first time if you were ever put upon in highschool but that's what makes these films so great as it's so real. The story and scene for this looked clever and realistic going on when scolded by a teacher showing her strict attitude.
Also, it gives you a wonderful imagination of seeking revenge on your bullies by using telekinetic powers to do them all away after all the years of being tormented in school too.
The Stephen King novel is just as excellent and the first movie based after his novel! No doubt the film is a classic especially for teenagers too!

The acting is superb! Sissy Spacek (Carrie White) is great in her role as the shy misfit teen and she's believable by acting out of place and acting tense too plus she was nominated for an award. She knew how to portray someone greatly disturbed and her intensity also came to life whenever something terrible happened to her. Was great running towards the cast members freaking out when she has her first period. Really was terrific screaming bloody murder when she is being dragged into a closet by her onscreen Momma which makes it look well performed and disturbing. Really knew on how to act still and silent while moping after telling her onscreen teacher on her being invited to the prom thinking that she's being tricked and getting into the mode a great deal. She almost acts wicked about all of this as her onscreen Momma later on by telling her that she is going to the prom regardless which is a real change on her behalf. Really had great timing with her lung power that prom night towards her onscreen Momma by when she is getting ready to go demanding her to sit down and to be quiet. She also does well acting full of life at the prom proving to be very versatile in her role like she always has in other shows that I've seen her in. Was superb by freaking out after the blood is dumpred on her then she really showed a nice pose of her being frozen and expressionless with her eyes growing wide when her powers are being unleashed. Also was terrific acting nervous especially while dancing and acting believeably embarrassed by what she was doing. A gifted actress that she is.
Piper Laurie (Margaret White) was the scariest character out of them all as the abusive religious fanatical mother of Carrie's. She does a very powerful performance with her timing and everything else. She was believeable with her aggressions and dominating behavior coming across as a perfect nutcase. She has a great southern accent in her performance too which sounded good and strong whenever she speaks.
There is a perfect and still shot on her picking up a phone to answer it and later on really showed what she got by slapping a big bible at her onscreen daughter making her fall to the ground and really acted intense when she forces her to say what she said and then dragging her to a closet. She knew how to act crezy again at the dinner table with her onscreen daughter after being told that she is invited to the prom making out that it's a sin and doing well with her hissing too. Also was great acting hysterical towards her onscreen daughter while she's preparing for the prom and getting pancky with her speaking bringing this to a perfect hype. In another scene showed perfect might with her blocking while chopping a carrot up with a kitchen knife.
Amy Irving
(Sue Snell) really shows a perfect serious attitude in her role as someone who is strong minded as well as really coming across greatly with a genuine type of behavior. She was believeable too as someone who acts smart and mature in her role. I found her to be a good character actress and wasn't surprising that she carried on with her acting career but I will always remember her performance with this role.
Nancy Allen (Chris Hargenson) is convincing as a school bully named Chris and she was married to the director. Her role as Chris does make you want to slap her like the gym teacher did to her for her nasty deeds on poor Carrie as well as how she mistreats her boyfriend with her whiney attitude as she reminds me of alot of troublemaking girls that I went to school with. One of the best actresses in this film without a doubt and lived to play this character.
I clearly remember watching William Katt (Tommy Ross) in the cheesy super hero spoof The Greatest American Hero and I liked his character the best cause he is the nice guy taking Carrie to the prom. He really makes his part extremely believeable. He shows a good charm to his role and knew on how to portray someone with his humoress behavior like a popular jock in school. Also was perfectly understanding and warm while dancing with Carrie showing off an all round nice guy performance.
We of course can't forget about Betty Buckley (Ms. Collins) who was the tough as nails strict gym teacher who whips her students in shape with her detention draining out every energy they put into the other day when they threw tampons at Carrie while Carrie herself was freaking out over her first period drawing out a ton of energy and great characteristics while doing all of this.
Looked great calling out her onscreen students name in the gymnasium for their presence, really scolded them well about what they did to poor Carrie and told them their punishment which came across perfectly. Showed good sympathy beforehand to this character Carrie after not realising she had her period by making her action believeable too. She really belted it out towards one of the actresses by slapping her across the face and acting tough with her and acting aggressive with her whichshe brought it out at full force and definetely makes the viewer feel good about teaching a bully a lesson. Was perfect by showing her kind hearted side towards Carrie and giving her confidence after told that she was invited to the prom which looked very heartwarming. Was perfect by getting stern in an office towards two of her onscreen students by getting demanding with them on why one of them asked Carrie to the prom which looked convincing for a teacher protecting a student from being harmed later on. Was terrific acting welcoming towards Carrie at the prom and having a witty and pleasant conversation with her which made her look believeably happy. Very believeable by what she does all round. She was another favourite of mine as boy is she marvellous with her character being very protective around Carrie.
This was also John Travolta's (Billy Nolan) first major supporting role as a nasty delinquent while he was a teen idol in the TV sitcom Welcome Back Kotter as Barbarino and he also cut some solo albums too during this time. Well his character as the tough Barbarino helped him get work in films like this but his character in this one was way more of a heavy type as Barbarino was a good guy, Nolan however was a bad dude who gets what he deserves in the end for pulling a mean trick on poor Carrie. His aggression in the movie and being the typical punk is very good for it's time. He shows great energy within what he did here.
Really knew how to act physically abusive towards his onscreen girlfriend when she curses towards him. Does well with his energy and blocking while holding a sledgehammer while heaving it towards a pig bringing it with all his might.
P.J. Soles (Norma Watson) is quite good too as the tomboy Norma and was a cult item in other films like the totally annoying Linda in Halloween. She stood out greatly as one of Carrie's tormentors big time especially during one of her first scene's with her blocking by whacking this character over the head with her ball cap. She shows it off well as a smart aleck showing alot of spunk into her role. She really got into what she did here in which it shows and should feel rewarded.

Michael Talbott
(Freddy) drew a good burly type of appeal in his supporting role as another teenage troublemaker in which he shows a great sarcastic attitude as one of those typical asshole types. He just draws across as one of those types who likes to clown around in a bad way. I had to mention him since I will always remember what he did in his performance even if it wasn't huge.

There is nudity during the opening of the film when girls are taking showers especially with Sissy Spacek and Nancy Allen.
is also nude when she takes a bath to clean off the pig's blood after that terrible incident at the prom.

The music was done by Dino Donaggio which he composed music for tons of other shows too. Nice peaceful paino playing for scene's like the opening credits adding some flute playing too. Also some suspenseful compsoing with some of the similar elements later on when the bucket of blood is ready to spill onto Carrie having a great sliding violin sounds. Plus great low humming types of sounds when the terror starts in the prom gymnasium which sounded powerfully done.
I liked his disco type music during the scene where Tommy Ross and his friends go to a place to rent a tuxedo for the prom.
There is also songtracks by film producer Merrit Malloy which sounds very bubblegumish but suitabvle for a 70's teen flick like this.

Chris Hargenson: You eat shit!

Margaret White: I'm here on the Lord's work, Mrs. Snell; spreadin' the gospel of God's salvation through Christ's blood!
Mrs. Snell: Yes, of course...

Margaret White: These are godless times, Mrs. Snell.
Mrs. Snell: I'll drink to that.

Margaret White: And the raven was called sin... Say it. The raven was called sin.
Carrie White: Why didn't you tell me momma...
Margaret White: Say it.
Carrie White: No.
Margaret White: The raven was called sin.
Carrie White: No momma... And the raven was called sin.

Carrie White: Eve was weak. Eve was weak.

Miss Collins: [to girls] Now, my idea for this little trick you pulled was three days' suspension and refusal of your prom tickets.
[The girls gasp]
Norma: [in disbelief] What? God!
Miss Collins: That'd get you where you live, wouldn't it? And you deserve it. I don't think any of you have any idea of just how nasty what you did really was. But the office has decided you're to have one week's detention.
[The girls sigh with relief]
Miss Collins: Still, there's one little catch. It's to be my detention.
[The girls are once again perturbed]
Miss Collins: That's fifty minutes every day starting today in the athletic field. Get the picture?
Chris Hargenson: I'm not coming.
Miss Collins: That's up to you, Chris. That's up to all of you. Punishment for skipping detention is three days' suspension and refusal of your prom tickets. Any other thoughts? Good. Now change up.
[the girls proceed begrudgingly]
Chris Hargenson: Where are you going?
Norma: Come on.
Chris Hargenson: I'm not coming.
Norma: You're really not gonna come? You're gonna miss out on the prom?
Chris Hargenson: I'm not coming.
Norma: Well, I'm not gonna miss the prom.
Chris Hargenson: Fuck.

Chris Hargenson: She can't get away with this. I'm gonna get her.
Sue Snell: Let it go, Chris.
Chris Hargenson: Like Hell, I will!

Miss Collins: The period's not up, Hargenson.
Chris Hargenson: It is for me.
Miss Collins: [to the other girls] Keep running!
[to Chris]
Miss Collins: Well, there are ten minutes left.
Chris Hargenson: Stick 'em up your...
[Miss Collins slaps her]
Chris Hargenson: You can't hit us! You'll get canned for this, you bitch!
Miss Collins: One more word out of you, and I'm gonna knock you down! Do you understand me?
Chris Hargenson: She can't get away with this if we all stick together! Norma? Helen? Sue!
Sue Snell: Shut up, Chris. Just shut up.
Chris Hargenson: This isn't over. This isn't over by a long shot!
Miss Collins: You're out of the prom, Hargenson. Okay, the show's over. In place. Run! One, two. One, two. One two.

Miss Collins: Carrie? Carrie. Carrie, what's the matter? What happened?
Carrie White: Nothing.
Miss Collins: Was it one of the girls? Did one of the girls do something to you?
Carrie White: No.
Miss Collins: What is it, then? You can trust me, you know that? Would you tell me?
Carrie White: I got invited to the prom.
Miss Collins: That's great! That's fantastic! So what are you down here moping around for?
Carrie White: Tommy Ross asked me.
Miss Collins: That's even better. He's really cute, huh?
Carrie White: I know who he goes around with. They're just trying to trick me again. I know.

Margaret White: Carrie, you haven't touched your apple cake.
Carrie White: It gives me pimples, Mama.
Margaret White: Pimples are the Lord's way of chastising you.

Margaret White: Witch. Got Satan's Power.
Carrie White: It has nothing to do with Satan, Mama. It's me. Me. If I concentrate hard enough, I can move things.

Margaret White: [Referring to Carrie's prom gown] Red. I might have known it would be red.
Carrie: It's pink, Mama.
[Presenting corsage]
Carrie: Look what Tommy gave me, Mama. Aren't they beautiful?
Margaret White: I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will.
Carrie: Breasts, Mama. They're called breasts, and every woman has them.

Margaret White: There're all gonna laugh at you.

Carrie White: Tommy?
Tommy Ross: Yeah?
Carrie White: Why?
Tommy Ross: Why what?
Carrie White: Why am I here?
Tommy Ross: Because it's the prom.
Carrie White: Why am I here with you?
Tommy Ross: Because I asked you.
Carrie White: Why'd you ask me?
Tommy Ross: Because I wanted to.
Carrie White: Why'd you want to?
Tommy Ross: Because you liked my poem. Only I didn't write it. Somebody else did.
Tommy Ross: Oh.

Billy Nolan: That Carrie White, she sure is cute.
Chris Hargenson: Shut up.
Billy Nolan: I thought you said they were gonna win.
Chris Hargenson: They will. It won't even be close. I called in a few favors.

Carrie White: It was bad, Mama. They laughed at me.

Margaret White: I should've killed myself when he put it in me. After the first time, before we were married, Ralph promised never again. He promised, and I believed him. But sin never dies. Sin never dies. At first, it was all right. We lived sinlessly. We slept in the same bed, but we never did it. And then, that night, I saw him looking down at me that way. We got down on our knees to pray for strength. I smelled the whiskey on his breath. Then he took me. He took me, with the stink of filthy roadhouse whiskey on his breath, and I liked it. I liked it! With all that dirty touching of his hands all over me. I should've given you to God when you were born, but I was weak and backsliding, and now the devil has come home. We'll pray.
Carrie: Yes.
Margaret White: We'll pray. We'll pray. We'll pray for the last time. We'll pray.