The Exorcist

Directed by William Friedkin

Linda Blair Screen Tests

Directed by William Friedkin
Screening on Film
  • The Exorcist

    Directed by William Friedkin.
    With Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair.
    US, 1973, 35mm, color, 132 min.
    Print source: Warner Bros.

So much attention has been given to the absolutely terrifying qualities of The Exorcist that few have noted the remarkably convincing realism that lies at the heart of Friedkin's best known and most notorious film. Friedkin applied his energetic documentary style to William Peter Blatty’s best-selling, faith-based story of modern-day demonic possession, eschewing traditional visual trickery while embracing innovative make-up and mechanical effects, along with a devilishly sophisticated magnetic soundtrack. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, The Exorcist reinvented the American horror film, bringing a new depth, complexity and pathos to the genre. In 2000 Friedkin controversially restored deleted scenes, including the legendary “spider walk,” and added visual effects to deepen the textures of his film, resulting in the longer and truly fascinating director's cut presented at the HFA.

  • Linda Blair Screen Tests

    Directed by William Friedkin.
    US, 1973, 35mm, color, 3 min.
    Print source: HFA

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The Uncanny Cinema of William Friedkin

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