The Exorcist is one of the most controversial movies of all time. The 1974 movie paved the way for shocking horror films that send shivers down a viewer’s spine. With Halloween not long away, we here at The List Love thought we’d share 10 facts you don’t know about The Exorcist.
1. Based on True Events
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As many of you will know, The Exorcist is based on the true story of a young boy’s exorcism in 1949. The boy, who had a pseudonym of Roland Doe, caught the attention of national news – and writer William Peter Blatty.
When the story broke, Blatty was a student at Georgetown University, and was inspired to write the script that would make people afraid to turn their bedroom light off at night. The novel was written more than four decades ago in a cabin in the hills of Enico, California.
2. Pig Squeals
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You would think actress Linda Blair would have to be possessed to have achieved her crazy moaning and grunting, especially at such a young age. Well, to create the sound, a group of pigs being led to slaughter were recorded and remixed to create the unique sound.
3. Marlon Brando
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Marlon Brando is regarded as one of the world’s finest actors; however, it appears he was not good enough for The Exorcist. Director William Friedkin chose not to include the movie star in the horror film, believing it would detract from the story they were trying to tell, and that it would immediately become known as a “Brando movie”. So the role was given to Max von Sydow.
4. The Demon’s Name
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The demon’s name is never spoken in The Exorcist, but it does have a one: Pazuzu. The name was take from name of the king of the demons in Babylonian and Assyrian mythology.
5. Best Picture Oscar Nomination
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The Exorcist shocked the whole world when it hit screens. It also shocked movie-lovers, as it was the first horror movie to be nominated in the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards. In fact, it earned 10 Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Linda Blair, who was a mere 15 years old at the time.
6. Oscar Controversy
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Linda Blair may have successfully gained herself a Best Supporting Actress nomination, but it was soon open to controversy. Why? Because of Mercedes McCambridge’s involvement in the role of Regan.
McCambridge, who was once called “the world’s greatest living radio actress” by Orson Welles, provided the voice for many of Regan’s demonic moments. To achieve her demonic sound, she started a diet of chain smoking, whiskey drinking and eating raw eggs. Now that’s dedication! She was initially not credited for her performance in the film, but her name was quickly added to the credits.
Many of the cast and crew believed The Exorcist set was cursed. The filming of the movie took place in both New York and Washington D.C. Just some of the incidents included a studio fire that caused the team to rebuild the house interior set. Sadly, nine people had also passed away by the end of the movie’s production.
Both Blatty and Friedkin even brought in priest Father King to bless the cast, crew and set when the set moved from New York to Washington.
9. Queasy Audience
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The movie was so scary that it actually made some audience members nauseous. There was so much queasiness going on that cinemas began handing out barf bags with every single ticket.
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Before The Exorcist movie hit the stands, the screenplay was rejected by every Hollywood studio. Once the novel become a best-seller, Warner Bros. became interested, with John Calley buying its rights. Blatty went on to also serve as the movie’s producer.
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