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The Exorcist | 1973 | R | - 5.7.7

New version of the 1973 supernatural thriller released in 2000 with digital sound and containing additional footage: A 12-year-old girl (Linda Blair) is possessed by the Devil and two Catholic priests try to perform an exorcism. Also with Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, William O'Malley, Barton Heyman, Peter Masterson, Rudolf Schündler, Gina Petrushka, Robert Symonds and Arthur Storch. [2:02]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - We see the possessed 12-year-old girl violently and repeatedly stick a cross into her crotch in a masturbatory fashion (we do not see the actual penetration but do see a lot of blood afterwards). She then pushes a woman's face down to her crotch. Some sexual innuendo and several instances of very explicit, obscene and often religiously profane sexual invitations and other utterances spoken by the possessed 12-year-old girl. A religious statue has what look like bloody horns sticking out of the chest and crotch areas. Some cleavage, and during a medical examination the top of a girl's bare breasts are visible.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - There are many very intense and scary scenes: the possessed 12-year-old girl's face becomes increasingly pale and streaked with bloody lacerations, and her eyes begin to redden and sometimes roll back (in a later scene we realize that her whole body has been affected); her voice becomes very low and scratchy, she develops a large lump in her throat and makes eerie sounds. During one scene she goes down a flight of stairs backwards -- she looks like a giant spider. During other scenes she is violently thrown back and forth on her bed; she levitates; her head spins all the way around; she spits yellow phlegm at a man; blood comes out of her mouth; she vomits green goo, projecting it on several bystanders and covering their faces; she urinates in public (we see urine trickle to the floor); and, the words "Help Me" appear on her body (presumably from the real person trapped within). A bloody gash appears on her leg when she's sprinkled with holy water. Strange noises and demonic-looking or monstrous faces are evident in a few scenes, and household furnishings become animated: candles flare up, pictures fall off walls, a bed starts to shake vigorously, a room shakes and walls and doors crack and split, the temperature drops suddenly, and stuff flies around by itself -- in one scene furniture flies toward a woman. The possessed 12-year-old girl attacks several people: she hits or slaps several, grabs a man by the crotch and pushes him down; a man grabs her, throws her down, punches her several times and tries to choke her. A man commits suicide by jumping out of a window and tumbling down several steps. A person gets an injection, blood is drawn for testing and a catheter is inserted on a person's neck (some blood is evident). Several dogs are shown fighting each other. Two men get into a scuffle and have to be separated. We are told that a man died when he was pushed down some steps and that his head was turned backwards. We see a dead body, and a pool blood next to a body.


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LANGUAGE 7 - 13 F-words and F-word derivatives, several of which are used as raw sexual invitations and are uttered by the possessed 12-year-old girl. A few scatological and anatomical terms, several religious exclamations and many very explicit religious profanities.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Possession by demons and exorcisms, supernatural beings, mysticism vs. rationalism and science, the limits of psychiatry, Catholic dogma, the Middle East and Iraq.

MESSAGE - Supernatural beings exist and they can inhabit people's bodies. There are no medical remedies, and only religious exorcisms can help alleviate such conditions.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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