Exorcist (1973)


Directed by: William Friedkin

Written by: William Peter Blatty


Ellen Burstyn ... Chris MacNeil
Max von Sydow ... Father Lankester Merrin
Jason Miller ... Father Damien Karras
Lee J. Cobb ... Lt. William Kinderman
Kitty Winn ... Sharon Spencer
Linda Blair ... Regan MacNeil
Reverend William O'Malley ... Father Dyer
Jack McGowran ... Burke Dennings
Barton Heyman ... Dr. Klein

Release Date: Theatrical: December 26, 1973





A professional actress named Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) can't explain her 12 year old daughter Regan's (Linda Blair) unusual behavior ever since she showed her Mom a Ouija board she found in her recroom.
Regan has been using crude language when she had a check up at the doctor's office, also Chris hears strange sounds in the attic and whenever she goes into Regan's room while she is asleep her window is left wide open.
Not only that, Regan tells people at a cast party hosted by Chris that people were all going to die and then urinates on the floor. Then Chris sees Regan's bed shaking but the doctors keep telling Chris that it's all nerves.

Regan acts even crazier as she threw Chris' director Burke out of a window and kills him, Regan runs on arms and legs upside down going down the house stairs, masturbates with a crucifix and then sees her head turn.

Eventually she seeks an exorcisim named Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) as the doctor's find out that Regan is possessed by a demon. Will Regan be saved?


You just gotta love the opening credits with the black background and red writing and then it goes to a place in Iraq which there's alot of weird happenings that involves Father Lankester Merrin spotting stuff like a clock that;s stopped ticking or dogs fighting one another near a demonic statue standing outside.
Then there's odd moments in a family home with a window always open in a bedroom owned by a young girl named Regan who is sleeping or some trampling sounds coming up from an attic. All of this seems to be the devil's doing.
There's many fun stuff between Regan and her mother Chris McNeill spending time with one another and Regan getting into mischief just to tease her Mom which looks heartwarming.
Then Regan shows her a Ouija board which alot of superstitious people say it's the devils toy and commuinicates with it calling up Captain Howdy. This is a nice beginning to a girl being possessed for messing with something like this.
This was a great film and truly disturbing.
Plus another great pointer for a demonic supernatural horror like this is at a cathedral when a priest discovers an obsure image of Mother Mary which also seemed very twisted and creepy.
A nice key writing to the story is when Regan is found sleeping next to her mother Chris McNeil and telling her that her bed was shaking which can leave a chill down your spine that something is for sure happening and it's not good along with more rattling up in the attic.
The story becomes more mysterious when Chris goes up in the attic to check things out and to see if there are rats up there like she suspects and it makes you watch in suspense to see if a strong force will attack her or not since things seem quiet.
There's also a dysfunctional moment with Father Damien Karras when he had to check her into a hospital and dies later which is a good tagalong to having guilt that the devil knew about which seems to link well to the story wondering if his mother is under Satan's power now.
Also there's some entertaining moments when Chris hosts a party and then Regan comes down peeing on the floor looking sick saying something awful as this was a great moment that she's slowly becoming possessed. Then the suspense packs up more as things seem very calm and quiet when Regan is sent back to bed and later on her bed is rattling big time which looked very well done and incredibly creepylike.
The story keeps getting more disturbing as Regan is slowly becoming more and more possessed and having the Devil totally take over her mind big time which really makes you cringe while watching.
It becomes hard to watch when Regan is hypnotised and the shrink tells her to let the demon enter her mind which is almost a bad thing to do making you think that he won't leave her alone.
The most disturbing scene of all is when Regan masturbates with a crucifix and forcing her Mom's face into her crotch as this was brutally intense on how this story was written proving that Regan is more powerful since the devil has taken over her mind. And then the head turning on possessed Regan which is the most memorable moment in the film.
There's Karras trying to perform an exorcism in which possessed Regan has a bit of a fun conversation with him on speaking different languages and later on when Karras asks her a question spits out green goo at him as this would gross some viewers out or lots of obscene language since Satan would use soul language against a preacher.
Another favourite scene is when the head preacher Lankester Merrin comes in and we hear a loud holler and he shows no mercy to this demonic spirit. Ya gotta love that for anyone who supports God and Jesus.
Lots more intensity when this demon tries to make the voice of Karrass' mother driving him insane. You wonder if his mother went to hell or not.
The story really struggles to see if Regan will be cleaned by this demonic spirit or not which was all strongly done.
Bottom line is it is one of the most shocking films in history and based on a real event. Also made on a big budget and one of the most remembered horror films in movie history based on the best selling novel by William Peter Blatty who also write the film. Lots of neat sound effects as well as the odd special effects too which looked spooky. The special edition is even creepier and more entertaining which they should've kept the deleted scene's shown there in. I can't say more about this movie but to check it out if you're into supernatural possession horror films.

The acting is superb. Ellen Burstyn (Chris McNeill) was great in her role as the caring mother as well portraying a wealthy actress and serious about her work. She also brings on a good serious attitude to when things need to be done. Plus drew alot of great intensity experiencing the possessions in which she really drives her crying emotions, aggressions and screaming attitude to life. There is a real intense moment with her trying to contact someone on the phone and going in a rage. Does well getting aggressive towards onscreen actors as doctor's demanding about her onscreen daughter's behavior which looked intense and well done. She was highly energetic and really making her part truly believeable.
Jason Miller
(Father Damien Karras) brought on a nice caring attitude with what he did as one of the head preachers in this flick. He was great by acting unhappy about his choices he had to make along with showing great intensity to what he had to do to perform an exorcism drawing a terrific high paced energy to everything. He was a true character actor and made his part very believeable. He really knew how to act emotionally intense when the possessed demon inside the little girl tries to fool him that his mother is talking to him
Max Von Sydow (Father Merrin) was also believeable as the high ranked preacher as he shows good emotions trying to keep stalibised with the meds he's taking as well as standing very tall and intimidating like which was another bonus to his character. Plus he had a perfect strong voice showing great strict aggressions when performing an exorcism. He stood out the most out of the whole cast.
Linda Blair (Regan McNeil) became a cult iten due to her character in this film in which she shows a good innocent attitude to her role trying to enjoy life and be happy. Showed alot of spunk and great energy into all that she did. She really knew on how to portray this role inside out. She also knew on how to slowly become possessed by acting ill as well as really going out in a rage or even screaming intensely in which you gotta feel sorry for the poor girl. Showed nice expressionless actions in front of a party with her words acting like she's mentally ill. She shows good tense expressions while getting blood tests from her neck. This role was a start to her fame in movies of the week and B-films (Especially horror flicks which made her a top scream queen in the same lines as Jamie Lee Curtis).
Jack MacGowran (Burke Dennings) brought on a nice humorous attitude into his role as a movie maker by really bringing out his bubbly type of behavior as well as really knowing on how to act silly and drunk during a moment at a party actin offensive in which he was believeable at doing. He was truly a character into what he did into this story.
Reverend William O'Malley (Father Dyer) who is a minister in real life really brought on a nice guy type of behavior who really got into things in a nice fashion. He was definetely outgoing in his supporting role making him very likeable. He had the right clean cut looks too.

There was some intense horror violence such as the possessed little girl is masturbating with a crucifix and there is blood cause of it.

The soundtrack was done by Jack Nitzsche who composed music for many other flicks and does a fine job in this one.
It's very suspenseful along with the scenes and his composing for this film remains a classic. There's a terrific chiming sound during some scene's of the film especially during the closing credits. Plus a great howling chanting like sounds for the opening credits which is very memorable.

Father Dyer: My idea of Heaven is a solid white nightclub with me as a headliner for all eternity, and they LOVE me.

Burke Dennings: Tell me, was it public relations you did for the Gestapo or community relations?
Karl: I'm Swiss!
Burke Dennings: Oh, of course. And you never went bowling with Goebels before either, I suppose? Nazi bastard.

Burke Dennings: Shall we summon the writer? He's in Paris.
Chris MacNeil: Hiding?
Burke Dennings: Fucking.

Regan MacNeil: Hi, Mom.
Chris MacNeil: What did you do today?
Regan MacNeil: Um... stuff.
Chris MacNeil: What kind of stuff?
Regan MacNeil: Well, me and Sharon played a game in the backyard, and we had a picnic down by the river. Mom, you should have seen this man came along on this beautiful grey horse. Wasn't it pretty?
Chris MacNeil: Really, what kind was it a mare or gelding?
Regan MacNeil: Think it was a gelding. It was grey. Oh, it was so beautiful, the guy let me ride it all around. It was so nice. Oh, I loved it. Oh, Mom can't we get a horse?
Chris MacNeil: Well, not while we're in Washington.

Regan MacNeil: You can bring Mr. Dennings if you like... Well, you like him... You're gonna marry him, aren't you?
Chris MacNeil: Oh God, are you kidding me? Marry Burke Dennings. Don't be silly. Of course not. Where'd you ever get an idea like that?
Regan MacNeil: But ya like him.
Chris MacNeil: Of course I like him. I like pizzas too, but I'm not gonna marry one.
Regan MacNeil: You don't like him like Daddy?
Chris MacNeil: Regan. I love your Daddy. I'll always love your Daddy, honey. OK? Burke just comes around here a lot, 'cause, well, he's lonely. Don't got nuttin' to do.
Regan MacNeil: [Coy] Well, I heard differently.
Chris MacNeil: Oh you did. What did you hear? Huh?
Regan MacNeil: I don't know. I just thought.
Chris MacNeil: Well, you didn't think so good.
Regan MacNeil: How do you know?
Chris MacNeil: 'Cause Burke and I are just friends. OK? Really. OK.

Lt. Kinderman: You know who you look like? John Garfield. Exactly, John Garfield, "Body and Soul." Do people ever tell you that, Father?
Father Damien Karras: Do people tell you that you look like Paul Newman?
Lt. Kinderman: Always.

Father Damien Karras: It's my mother, Tom. She's alone. I never should have left her. At least in New York, I'd be near, I'd be closer.
Tom: Could see about a transfer, Damien.
Father Damien Karras: I need re-assignment, Tom. I want out of this job. It's wrong. It's no good.
Tom: You're the best we've got.
Father Damien Karras: Yeah, not really. It's more than psychiatry, and you know that Tom. Some of their problems come down to faith, their vocation and meaning of their lives, and I can't cut it anymore. I need out. I'm unfit. I think I've lost my faith, Tom.

Chris MacNeil: Operator, I have been on this line for twenty minutes... What did you do, take the literacy test to get that job for Christ's sake?... No DONT TELL ME TO BE CALM, GODDAMIT! I'VE BEEN ON THIS FUCKING LINE FOR TWENTY MINUTES!

Dr. Klein: Put this in your mouth. Keep it there. This tells your temperature. When the red light goes on, that's your Temperature.
Regan MacNeil: I don't want it.

Bellevue Nurse: Unroll your fist. Arm up. Good. That wasn't so bad, was it?

Dr. Klein: Tell me if you feel a Vibration. Can you feel anything?Regan?Can you feel this?
Regan MacNeil: I don't feel anything!

[to a prominent senator at Chris' party]
Burke Dennings: There seems to be an alien pubic hair in my gin. Never seen it before in my life! Have you?

[after fighting with Karl]
Burke Dennings: So, what's for dessert?

Regan MacNeil: Mother, what's wrong with me?

Dr. Klein: Do you keep any drugs in your house?
Chris MacNeil: No, of course not, nothing like that.
Dr. Klein: Are you sure?
Chris MacNeil: Well, of course I'm sure. I'd tell you. Christ, I don't even smoke grass.

Karras' Mother: [to Karras] Why you do this to me, Dimmy?

Dr. Klein: Pathological states can induce abnormal strength. Accelerated motor performance. Now, for example, say a 90 pound woman sees her child pinned under the wheel of a truck. Runs out and lifts the wheels a half a foot up off the ground - you've heard the story - same thing here. Same principle, I mean.
Chris MacNeil: So what's wrong with her?
Dr. Klein: We still think the temporal lobe.
Chris MacNeil: Oh what are you talking about, for Chrissakes? Did you see her or not? She's acting like she's fucking out of her mind, psychotic, like a... split personality or...
Dr. Klein: There haven't been more than a hundred authentic cases of so-called split personality, Mrs. MacNeil. Now I know the temptation is to leap to psychiatry. But any reasonable psychiatrist would exhaust the somatic possibilities first.
Chris MacNeil: So, what's next?
Dr. Klein: A pneumoencephalogram, I would think. Pin down that lesion. It will involve another spinal.
Chris MacNeil: Oh, Christ.
Dr. Klein: What we missed in the EEG and the arteriograms could conceivably turn up there. At least, it would eliminate certain other possibilities.

Regan MacNeil: Keep away. The sow is mine.

Regan MacNeil: FUCK ME.

Psychiatrist: Is there someone inside you?
Regan MacNeil: Sometimes.
Psychiatrist: Who is it?
Regan MacNeil: I don't know.
Psychiatrist: Is it Captain Howdy?
Regan MacNeil: I don't know.
Psychiatrist: If I ask him to tell me, will you let him answer?
Regan MacNeil: No.
Psychiatrist: Why not?
Regan MacNeil: I'm afraid.

[Regan, possessed, is masturbating herself with a crucifix]
Regan MacNeil: Let Jesus fuck you, let Jesus fuck you. Let him fuck you.

Regan MacNeil: Lick me, Lick me.

Regan MacNeil: Do you know what she did, your cunting daughter?

Dr. Klein: There is one outside chance for a cure. I think of it as shock treatment - as I said, it's a very outside chance... Have you ever heard of exorcism? Well, it's a stylized ritual in which the rabbi or the priest try to drive out the so-called invading spirit. It's been pretty much discarded these days except by the Catholics who keep it in the closet as a sort of an embarrassment, but uh, it has worked. In fact, although not for the reasons they think, of course. It's purely a force of suggestion. The victim's belief in possession is what helped cause it, so in that same way, a belief in the power of exorcism can make it disappear.
Chris MacNeil: You're telling me that I should take my daughter to a witch doctor? Is that it?

Father Damien Karras: There isn't a day in my life when I haven't felt like a fraud. I mean priests, doctors, I've talked to them all. I don't know anyone who hasn't felt that.

Regan MacNeil: I'm not Regan.
Father Damien Karras: Well, then let's introduce ourselves. I'm Damien Karras.
Regan MacNeil: And I'm the Devil. Now kindly undo these straps.
Father Damien Karras: If you're the Devil, why don't you make the straps disappear?
Regan MacNeil: That's much too vulgar a display of power, Karras.

Regan MacNeil: What an excellent day for an exorcism.
Father Damien Karras: You would like that?
Regan MacNeil: Intensely.
Father Damien Karras: But wouldn't that drive you out of Regan?
Regan MacNeil: It would bring us together.
Father Damien Karras: You and Regan?
Regan MacNeil: You and us.

Father Damien Karras: Where is Regan?
Regan MacNeil: [She's possessed] In here. With Us.

Regan MacNeil: Your mother's in here, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it.

Father Damien Karras: There are no experts. You probably know more about possession then most priests. Look, your daughter doesn't say she's a demon, she says he's the devil himself. Now, if you've seen as many psychotics as I have, you'd say it's the same thing as saying you're Napoleon Bonaparte. You asked me, what I think is best for your daughter. Six months... under observation... at the best hospital you can find.

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. 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 YOU KNOW AN EXORCISIM WOULDN'T DO ANY GOOD. YOU TELL ME THAT.

Regan MacNeil: Your mother sucks cocks in Hell, Karras, you faithless slime.

Regan MacNeil: [Demonic voice] Stick your cock up her ass, you motherfucking worthless cocksucker.

Chris MacNeil: Would you like some bourbon in that, father?
Father Merrin: Well, my doctor says I shouldn't but thank God my will is weak.

Father Merrin: Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psycological, Damien, and powerful. So don't listen to him. Remember that - do not listen.

Father Damien Karras: I think it might be helpful if I gave you some background on the different personalities Regan has manifested. So far, I'd say there seem to be three. She's convinced...
Father Merrin: There is only one.

Father Damien Karras: Why her? Why this girl?
Father Merrin: I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as... animal and ugly. To make us reject the possibility that God could love us.

[At Regan's bedside]
Father Merrin: I cast you out! Unclean Spirt!
Regan MacNeil: Shove it up your ass!
Father Merrin: In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ! It is he who commands you! It is he who flung you from the gates of Heaven to the depths of Hell!
Regan MacNeil: Fuck Him!
Father Merrin: Be gone...
Regan MacNeil: Fuck Him, Karras! Fuck Him!
Father Merrin: ...from this creature of God!
Regan MacNeil: [Moaning]
Father Merrin: Be gone! In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt!

Father Merrin, Father Damien Karras: The Power of Christ Compels You.

Regan MacNeil: You killed your mother! You left her alone to die! Bastard!
Father Damien Karras: Shut up!

Father Damien Karras: Take me. Come into me. God damn you. Take me. Take me.

Lt. Kinderman: If certain British doctors never asked "What is this fungus?" we wouldn't today have penicillin, correct?