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8,128 Ratings

The Exorcist

Directed by William Friedkin
United States, 1973


A desperate mother becomes torn between science and religion when her 12-year-old daughter begins to exhibit signs of a devilish new persona. She turns to a troubled priest struggling with his own faith, for help.

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The Exorcist Directed by William Friedkin

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1974 | 8 nominations including: Best Actor in a Supporting Role

1974 | 2 wins including: Best Sound

National Film Preservation Board

2010 | Winner: National Film Registry

Though I’ve always admired horror as a film genre . . . I’ve never found it especially scary. . . . I’m more frightened by the threat of unemployment or climate change — real life, in other words. But William Friedkin’s 1973 masterpiece frightens precisely because it channels cinéma vérité to feast upon everything fetid in our culture then and now: Freud, corrupt leadership, economic inequality, dysfunctional nuclear families, and misogyny, not to mention the Catholic Church.
December 26, 2017
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It’s topped countless lists of the greatest horror movies ever made, but William Friedkin’s 1973 supernatural shocker has always struck me as one of the greatest of all religious films — a movie in which unbelief and spiritual despair are enemies as dangerous as the devil himself.
October 31, 2016
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Blatty’s script was certainly strong, but much of The Exorcist’s ultimate success was due to Friedkin’s skill as a filmmaker, in spite of the work’s many moments of excessive, showy literalness. Just as The French Connection adopted a docudrama approach and cast people really involved with the case it described, Friedkin builds in The Exorcist, layer by layer, an intimately depicted, finely detailed context for the drama, a pseudo-realistic approach mixed with traditional genre style elements.
October 27, 2013
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