William Friedkin’s 1973 adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel The Exorcist is one of the most notorious and controversial films ever made.
Nominated for ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture, the first horror film to do so) and winning two Oscars for Best Screenplay and Sound, The Exorcist remains the top grossing R-rated movie of all time. Certainly it is the scariest, according to Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Movies.com, Variety, AFI, and Roger Ebert.
These twenty-five interviews, reminiscences, and articles explore how and why The Exorcist (premiering 26 December 1973) still haunts our imaginations and nightly dreams, along with influencing a new generation of directors, including Guillermo del Toro, M. Night Shyamalan, and James Wan. In-depth conversations with its makers, from the present to nearly four decades ago, ask about its inspirations and ambitions, and deliver many unexpected answers. New evaluative treatments from leading scholars of film and fiction track what this original film and its prequels and sequels indicate about sexuality and gender roles, morality and the monstrous, character and conflict, politics and theology, adaptation and artistic ambiguity, fateful decisions in casting/writing/directing, and conversations The Exorcist has with other films.
For The Exorcist obsessive, to casual students of film, to lovers of terror, mystery, and theological fright, this new title pays deep honor to a legendary film, and illuminates the ways Director William Friedkin and Writer William Peter Blatty’s film still possesses us.