when The Exorcist was released in 1973, it channeled the horror genre in a new direction, and now, after nearly six decades, it is still one of the most tense, suspenseful, and scary films of the genre. It is considered horror. The Exorcist tells the horror story of the exorcism of a 12-year-old girl named Reagan McNeill (Linda Blair). When Reagan begins to experience night terrors, his mother (Ellen Berstein) sees a doctor.
But when doctors are unable to treat his daughter, he goes to Carras' father (Jason Miller), a local priest who believes his daughter has been possessed by the devil. With the help of Marin's father (Max von Seido), the two priests carry out the exorcism process on the girl and save her life at the cost of their own lives. Like any movie, Exorcist has some interesting tricks, behind-the-scenes stories, and hints that few people know about.
The Exorcist is based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Balti, which is based on real events that took place around Washington and Missouri. It is said that in January 1949, a 14-year-old boy from Maryland began experiencing terrifying night terrors during which he gained tremendous strength, his body structure changed dramatically, and he spoke as if possessed by a demon. His family tried to save their son and in this way went to doctors and psychologists and even performed an unsuccessful exorcism operation. One night, two whip-shaped words appeared on the boy's back: "Go" and "St. Louis." His family took him to St. Louis, Missouri, where they met two Jesuit priests, Father Walter Halloran and Father William S. Bodern, who had been exorcising the boy for three months.
From the beginning, William Belty wanted William Friedkin to make The Exorcist. But before Friedkin took the helm of the film, Warner Bros. sent the script to Stanley Kubrick. In an interview in 2013, Friedkin claimed that Kubrick did not accept the offer, saying, "I just want to do my job from the beginning." Arthur Penn and Mike Nicholas are also said to have received offers to make the film, but they also turned down the chance to make Exorcist. Friedkin is said to have had a tough fight over Belti and Warner Bros. Studios over his choice of the film. Following the success of Friedkin's 1971 film The French Connection, Warner Bros. finally agreed to offer Belt to entrust William Friedkin with The Exorcist.
William Friedkin announced in a 2015 interview that some of the top Hollywood stars of those years were set to play, but he eventually decided to take on the role with Jason Miller. Miller was a lesser-known actor, but he wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Championship Season, which Friedkin saw during the casting process and on a trip to New York. "There were big stars who wanted to play this role," Friedkin said. Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman and many others; And I had the feeling that I should not use a star. "I did not want to put anyone in this position in the guise of a priest." Warner Bros. officials apparently wanted Marlon Brando to play Marin's father, but Friedkin decided to use a lesser-known actor to prevent him from becoming an exorcist in "Brando's film." Interestingly, Reagan's mother was also offered the role of Audrey Hepburn and Jane Fonda, each of whom declined for some reason.
It was very difficult for the director to find a suitable actor to play 12-year-old Reagan McNeill, because there were not many teenage actors who he thought could play such a difficult and stressful role. Friedkin stated in 2013 that he tried to use 15- and 16-year-old girls for the role, but ultimately failed because he felt that "the experience of making such a film would hurt those teenage girls." But when the other director was frustrated with finding the actress he wanted, Linda Blair's mother brought her daughter to Friedkin for rehearsal without any premature appointment, and he found her suitable for the role of Reagan in every way. Linda Blair's mother was on stage all the time to keep an eye on her daughter, and private tutors were hired to keep Blair from falling behind.
5. Max von Seido was only 44 years old when he made The Exorcist, and he had to wear long make-up to play the role of an old priest.
"I was supposed to be older than I really was," Max von Seido joked in an interview with the American Film Institute. "I had to wear so much makeup that it was not at all obvious when I reacted with my face." It is also said that Von Seido, who was a very polite and gentlemanly actor, was shocked and upset by Reagan's rude words on the first day of filming, and was so impressed that he forgot that he was on the set.
6. Reagan's bedroom location was turned into a real refrigerator for a real sense of steam coming out of the actors' mouths.
To demonstrate the power of the devil and his attempt to control Reagan's body, Friedkin cooled the space inside the bedroom so that he could portray the steam coming out of the actors' mouths in a realistic way. In the 1970s, there were no special effects that could show a cloud of moisture. For this reason, Friedkin resorted to traditional methods. In fact, Friedkin cooled the room so much that it went below freezing. The behind-the-scenes footage shows the actors and producers wearing very thick clothes to keep warm, while Linda Blair is the only one who has to wear pajamas and shiver from the cold.
7. Mercedes Mc Cambridge, which produces the voice of the devil in the movie Exorcist, followed a special diet to have a special voice.
Mercedes McCambridge, who had the voice of the devil embedded in Reagan's body, embarked on a special diet to achieve the right sound, which included eating raw eggs, drinking whiskey and smoking non-stop. "You use everything, you analyze and you use everything," McCambridge said in a documentary about the movie; "And I used all those things to produce the voice of the devil." She also sat in a chair with pieces of cloth cut from the sheets on his neck, arms, wrists and legs so that she could imitate Linda Blair's movements and movements in bed and make the appropriate sound accordingly. Friedkin had said that McCambridge turned to alcohol for the role and made several sounds from his throat at the same time.
8. Reagan's vomiting sequence on Miller's face was taken in a single shot thanks to his hatred of vomiting
According to the creators of the movie, in the rehearsal for the famous sequence of Linda Blair vomiting on Miller, the vomit sits on Miller's chest. But in the first impression, Reagan's vomit lands on Miller's face, and Miller's hatred of this event makes the sequence look very natural and real. Another interesting point is that one of the most scary scenes in the film, which is the sequence of Reagan spider movement on the stairs, was removed before the release due to the discovery of one of the factors in making the film, but in 2000 it was added to the final version.
Although the characters in the movie only refer to the story as "the devil", the real name of this devil is "Pazuzo". The demon Pazuzu is found in Syrian and Babylonian myths that the demon is the wind. The demon's name appears in later exorcist books and films released after Friedkin's Exorcist. If you look at the film more closely, this name shows its historical roots very well. At the beginning of the film, father discovers the Pazuzo spell during ancient excavations in northern Iraq. Later, during his travels, he sees a larger statue of this spell. In this way, a connection can be made between this little spell and the real devil that haunts Reagan.
10. The cast and crew of The Exorcist believed that the scene was cursed and enlisted the help of a real priest
The McNeill House burnt in fire, in which the entire house, except for Reagan's occupied bedroom, collapsed and resulted in a six-week delay in filming. As a result a priest was called to drive the devil out of the movie scene. In addition, it is said that at least nine deaths occurred in connection with the film; From the death of Linda Blair's grandfather to Borg Dennings (played by Jack Meg Goran) who died a week after the release of The Exorcist.
11- The symbolic image of Marin's father on the poster of the movie Exorcist is inspired by a series of famous paintings.
One of the most iconic and enduring scenes in The Exorcist, which eventually appeared on the film's poster, is where Marin's father shines as he shines under a street light, looking at the McNeill House. The sequence is based on a series of paintings by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte.
Cinemagoers who had never seen anything so scary before the release of Exorcist were terrified of watching the film. That's why cinemas gave cinemagoers vomit bags, because a lot of movie sequences, especially the Reagan nod, made them feel bad. Some reports indicate that some cinemagoers fainted during the screening of The Exorcist. In one case, a filmmaker fainted while watching a movie and fell from a chair, breaking his jawbone. He later sued Warner Bros. for this, and an out-of-court settlement was eventually reached.
Six months after the release of The Exorcist, Warren Brothers's company hired several bodyguards to protect Linda Blair because she had received so many threatening messages from religious extremists, who believed that her play was in fact a praise of the devil. Blair later said it was challenging to be in the spotlight, especially since he was only 15 years old at the time. In his opinion, the exorcist was very controversial, and since he was at the center of the story, many saw him as the main character in the controversial portrayal of the devil in the film.
Exorcist made history in 1974 by being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Of the 10 Academy Award nominations for William Friedkin, only two won Best Writing and Best Voice.
At the height of the film and during the exorcism, father Cara squeezes Reagan's throat, pulls the devil out of his body, and transfers it to his own body. He then falls out of the window and dies after falling down a high staircase. Located in Washington, D.C., near Georgetown University, this very steep stairway received a tourist license plate in 2015. Friedkin said the plaque was more valuable to him than the two Oscars he won for The French Connection. "They now call these stairs, which are located in a historic area in a historic city, exorcist stairs," he said. My name is on that plate; As well as the name Belt. For me, this honor is much greater, because the Academy Award comes and goes. However, its importance has been diminishing over time. "But that stair plate will stay there for a long time."
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