10 Fascinating Facts About The Exorcist
Krampus o Santa Claus, the holiday season is full of all kinds of unforgettable characters. On December 26, 1973, the studio executives at Warner Bros. added a new sort of yuletide tot to the mixture: Regan MacNeil, a demonic tween renowned because of her distaste for pea soup along with unholy attitude toward spiritual relics. Listed below are 10 intriguing facts about William Friedkin’s revolutionary horror movie on its 45th anniversary.
1. IT IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
William Peter Blatty’s book is based on the real-life 1949 exorcism of a young boy, also called the pseudonym Roland Doe. The story became national news and captured the attention of Blatty, who had been a student at Georgetown University in the time (thus the change in place ).
2. WILLIAM PETER BLATTY WROTE THE NOVEL IN A CABIN IN CALIFORNIA.
In Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist, among those featurettes on Warner Bros.’s unique 40th edition Blu-ray, Blatty returns to the spectacle of The Exorcist’s beginning: the cabin in the hills of Encino, California where he composed the book over four years ago.
3. THE DEMON’S NAME IS PAZUZU.
Even though it’s never actually mentioned in the movie, the demon that takes ownership of Regan MacNeil has a title: Pazuzu, which is taken from the name of the king of the demons in Assyrian and Babylonian mythology.
4. MERCEDES MCCAMBRIDGE PROVIDED THE VOICE OF THE DEMON.
The girl Orson Welles once dubbed “the world’s greatest living radio celebrity” was hired to supply the voice for Linda Blair’s most demonic minutes, a decision which became the source of much controversy if McCambridge wasn’t credited for her performance. Some state this choice was only McCambridge’s, who maintained she did not need to remove and fame rom Blair’s performance, then later changed her mind. Under the threat of legal actions, her title was immediately added to the credits.
5. CHAIN SMOKING AND WHISKEY HELPED MCCAMBRIDGE ACHIEVE PAZUZU’S RASPINESS.
Sounding like a demon has its own drawbacks. In the instance of McCambridge, she thought that chain smoking along with a diet of eggs and whiskey would be the secret to a fantastic vocal performance.
6. PIG SQUEALS WERE A KEY PART OF THE SOUND DESIGN.
A lot of Regan’s moaning and grunting were made by remixing pig squeals. After the demon is finally exorcized from the body, the noise you hear is that of a set of pigs being led to slaughter.
7. IT WAS THE FIRST HORROR FILM TO BE NOMINATED FOR A BEST PICTURE OSCAR.
The horror genre hasn’t gotten much love from the Academy. Though there still seems to be a bias against scary films during awards season, The Exorcist earned 10 Oscar nominations in 1974, such as a Best Supporting Actress nod for Linda Blair, who was only 15 years old at the moment. Sad to say, the adolescent’s nomination was met with much controversy as word regarding McCambridge’s contribution to the function disperse.
8. VIOLET BEAUREGARDE WAS CONSIDERED FOR THE ROLE OF REGAN.
Denise Nickerson, who famously played Violet Beauregarde in Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, was in contention for the role of Regan. But her parents have a hold of the script and, bothered by what they read, pulled her in the creation’s Declaration of young actresses.
9. LINDA BLAIR’S MOTHER LOVED THE SCRIPT.
Ironically, Linda Blair’s representatives never even considered her to the role, though they did send the producers more than just two dozen other young actresses to think about. It had been Blair’s mum who brought her to the attention of their studio’s casting department and Friedkin.
10. BLATTY INSISTED THAT WILLIAM FRIEDKIN DIRECT THE FILM.
Blatty made a smart decision when he offered the rights to his novel, but stayed on as among The Exorcist’s makers. That way, his view would need to matter. And though the studio had its own short list of directors to strategy for the gig–Arthur Penn, Peter Bogdanovich, Mike Nichols, and Stanley Kubrick among them–Blatty just had eyes Friedkin, presuming that the film would profit from a grittier fashion, very similar to that which Friedkin had performed on The French Connection. Once the studio told Blatty that they had hired Mark Rydell for the movie, Blatty stood his groundand won!