'The Exorcist' completes 47 years: Interesting facts about the film

Pallabi Chatterjee
·2-min read


26 Dec 2020: 'The Exorcist' completes 47 years: Interesting facts about the film

Touted as the scariest film in the history of cinema, The Exorcist completes 47 years of its release today.

Based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel, this venture sends down shivers and erodes sleep for nights even after so many years.

Numerous eerie facts, including nine "cursed" deaths, lawsuits, and personality changes, further accentuate the scary air around this film.

Let's know more.

Deaths: Two actors, who died in film, also died in real-life

Jack MacGowran, who played Burke Dennings, and Vasiliki Maliaros, who portrayed the mother of Father Karras, died much before the film released.

Now, this is a common occurrence, but the creepy part is they were also killed in the film.

Dennings's death was particularly brutal in the movie and so when MacGowran died in real life, people said that the film was cursed.

Fact: Burstyn's scream wasn't acting, but a real injury-induced one

Ellen Burstyn's blood-curdling scream in the film makes anyone freeze on the spot, but did you know it was an actual one done in real pain and suffering?

The actress, who luckily (or unluckily) landed the lead role of Chris MacNeil, after several passed on the offer, injured her coccyx since her harness malfunctioned.

This apparently led to a permanent injury to her spine.

Details: Director's take: Four ACs and lead actor wearing thin nightgown

The director, William Friedkin, went to unimaginable lengths to get a genuine reaction from his cast members.

Linda Blair, who played the possessed 12-year-old, was yanked violently around in harnesses, which resulted in injuries and real painful screams.

She was also made to wear a thin nightgown in a room that had four giant AC machines blowing air at -30 or -40 degrees!

Director: Fired blank shots to get genuine reaction, used pig squeals

Friedkin, who's been called a "lunatic" by Jason Miller, also fired blanks "behind [an actor's] head to get a surprise out of them."

To ensure Blair's moaning and grunting sounded authentic, the director created sounds by remixing pig squeals.

When the demon is finally getting out of her body, the sound you hear is of a bunch of pigs being taken to a slaughterhouse.

Facts: MacNeil house caught fire, screening in Rome faced nature's fury

The MacNeil house set burned down when a pigeon flew over the circuit board.

Production was delayed for almost a year. Interestingly, the room where the real exorcism scenes were being filmed was, however, not damaged.

When the film was screened in Rome, there was torrential rainfall and thunderous lightning. Also, a 400-year-old cross fell right in the middle of the public square.