Released in 1973, the film caused quite an uproar with audiences. People were reported to have fainted while watching the movie. It’s based on the novel by William Peter Blatty (who also wrote the screenplay and directed the third sequel) and directed by William Friedkin.
The film stars Ellen Burstyn, an actress who is a making a film in Georgetown. She’s brought along her 12-year-old daughter, Regan (Linda Blair) who was begun to act strangely. Meanwhile Father Damian Karras (Jason Miller) is having doubts about his faith. Soon it becomes apparent that there is something wrong with Regan. After consulting with Father Karras, who has his doubts, it’s decided that Regan is possessed and needs an exorcist.
I love this movie. It’s creepy, horrifying and unsettling. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture (making it the first horror film nominated for best picture.) It won for Best Screenplay and Best Sound. The film was re-cut with the infamous spider-walk added back into it in 2000 and re-released in theatres as The Exorcist: The Version You Haven’t Seen Yet. I still haven’t seen this version yet. After all there is nothing wrong with the original.