New York CityWashington, D.C.PhiladelphiaChicago
Chris and Regan reside in the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Single mother Chris McNeil and her daughter, Regan McNeil.
New York CityThomas Hawk / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: thomashawkNewarkDoug Kerr / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: dougtone
The Exorcist steps are steps located at the corner of Prospect St. NW and 36th St. NW, leading down to M St. NW in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
"My walls were creaking.""My closet kept opening."
"My bed was shaking."
A phone call awakens Chris, who then finds Regan in bed with her. Asking her why she's there, Regan mumbles, "My bed was shaking. I can't get to sleep."
Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of animal and human parts and has the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned feet, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail, and a serpentine penis. Father Karras had battled the demon before, and uncovered a statue of Pazuzu during the beginning of the film.
While playing with the Ouija board, the planchette pulls away from Chris. She remarks that Regan must not want her to play, but Regan insists that Captain Howdy is the one who doesn't want to cooperate. Chris:" Who's Captain Howdy?" Regan: "You know, I make the questions and he does the answers."
Carrie FisherGage Skidmore / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: gageskidmoreBrooke ShieldsWikipedia Commons
Brooke was just 7 years old at the time of filming. It would be another 5 years before she filmed the controversial "Pretty Baby," and 7 years until she found massive success (and, again, controversy) with "The Blue Lagoon."
William Christopher20th Century Fox Television / Via bigbigforums.comMike Farrell20th Century Fox TelevisionLoretta Swit20th Century Fox Television / Via hollywoodsfamousfaces.comAlan Alda20th Century Fox Television / Via thefreshfilms.com
Alan Alda was offered a starring role in the film, but ultimately turned it down because he did not care for William Peter Blatty's book.
IraqWikipedia CommonsEgyptWikipedia CommonsMoroccoWikipedia CommonsSpainWikipedia Commons
In both the novel and film, Father Merrin is digging in Iraq. The scene was shot -- true to the source -- on location in ancient Nineveh in Hatra, Iraq.
Chris is a famous actress living (temporarily) in D.C. while filming a movie, "Crash Course."
Paramedics were on call to treat hysteria in the theaters.Wikipedia CommonsCatholic priests were dispatched to theater lobbies.Wikipedia CommonsNuns formed a human blockade at a theater in Queens, New York, to prevent patrons from viewing the movie.Wikipedia CommonsClass action lawsuits were filed in Tennessee and Florida states for extreme emotional distress.Wikipedia Commons
Upon its initial theatrical release the film affected many audiences so strongly that at many theaters, paramedics were called to treat people who fainted and others who went into hysterics.
1973 marked the first time a horror film was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. The genre would not claim a win until 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs." Notable horror nominations in the past included Best Director for Alfred Hitchcock for 1960's "Psycho," Best Actor nomination (and win) for Frederic March in 1932's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," and Best Supporting Actress nomination for Angela Lansbury in 1945's "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
44 Years OldWarner Bros. / Via lecinemadreams.blogspot.com54 Years OldWarner Bros. / Via exorcist.wikia.com
44 Years Old!
In order to make Max von Sydow appear much older than his then-age of 44, makeup maestro Dick Smith applied generous amounts of stipple to von Sydow's forehead, eyes and neck. His facial skin was then manually stretched as liquid latex was applied. When the latex dried, his taut skin was then released causing the film of rubber to corrugate. This daily makeup procedure lasted three hours and was apparently the cause of much anguish for von Sydow.
He is a drug addict.His absentee father is a grifter.
His elderly mother dies!
Father Karras is consumed by guilt and depression when his mother dies, and confesses to have lost his faith in God.
A telegram arrives from a divorce attorney.Regan has an accident.
Regan silently staggers into the room and says, "You're gonna die up there," before urinating on the carpet.
According to the crew, the pea soup that Regan vomits all over Father Karras was Andersen's brand pea soup. They tried Campbell's but didn't like the "effect."
Burke Denning (Chris's film director) dies after falling from Regan's bedroom window. Father Merrin dies (off-camera) of an apparent heart attack, and Father Karras dies as well after flinging himself from Regan's bedroom window.