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William Peter Blatty won a best screenplay Oscar for this adaptation of his bestselling novel about the demonic possession of an actress's young daughter, one of the most talked-about and reviled horror movies ever. Unbelievably scary when it first came out, its overall impact has been lessened by time and repeated genre duplication. But the macabre, obscene demonstrations of manifest evil still retain their power to startle and nauseate, particularly Linda Blair's "head-turning" antics as the possessed child. Aside from the graphic and revolutionary special effects, director William Friedkin dwells on the allegorical religious subtleties, making this a richly satisfying experience for horror aficionados. Max von Sydow (as the priest at the centre of the exorcism) and Ellen Burstyn (as the girl's mother) also rise to the landmark occasion, and special mention should go to Robert Knudson and Chris Newman, whose marvellous use of sound won the film's second Oscar.
A girl is possessed by a formidable demonic entity that resists all efforts at freeing her from its grasp. In desperation, the child's mother appeals for help from a local priest and a veteran exorcist, but succeeding in this nightmarish contest of wills threatens the lives of both men. William Friedkin's horror, starring Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow and Lee J Cobb.
Cast & Crew
Max von Sydow
Lee J Cobb
Reverend William O'Malley
Voice of the Demon
Contains graphic violence, swearing and disturbing scenes.
video, DVD and Blu-ray
17 Nov 2000
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