There Is So Much More To The Story Than We Knew

Anyone visiting this website not only knows about The Exorcist (1973), but they have the theme song memorized and can tell you in detail about Linda Blair’s famous projectile vomit scene. The Exorcist isn’t just a movie, it’s a cultural phenomenon. With multiple remakes, sequels, spoofs, toy lines, and Halloween costumes, The Exorcist is arguably the most famous horror film of all time. Would it surprise you, then, to know that director William Friedkin denied that it was a horror, and writer William Peter Blatty was formerly famous for writing comedy screenplays? 


The Exorcist

Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Reel2Reel is releasing The Exorcist: Untold (2023), The Story Behind the Horror Masterpiece. Robin Bextor (Oppenheimer: The Real Story) takes us on a journey through time, providing insight into the film’s creation and legacy in an intricate tapestry of well-preserved footage from variety shows, interviews, and news clips, tied together by the personal thoughts of William Peter Blatty’s widow, Julie Blatty.

It’s a rare delight to get a detailed account of exactly how one’s favourite movie came to be, and this documentary is filled with both surprises and nostalgia that are sure to invoke awe in The Exorcist’s fan base. The movie was filmed at Georgetown University, for example, where William Blatty attended on full scholarship and first heard about the real-life exorcism case that inspired the screenplay from one of his professors. While filming, the cast and crew volunteered to lecture at the University, discussing their careers and the technical aspects of making a movie, an experience students will never forget. 


The Exorcist

News footage of movie-goers’ reactions during the opening weekend is clear and crisp, as is old footage of Blatty appearing on The Groucho Marx Show in a comedic role, where he won enough money to be able to take the time to write The Exorcist. It’s details like these that draw us into the story of the making of the movie, showing us just how incredible its existence is. Bextor interviews horror film experts, professors, historians, and designers ensuring every aspect of the making of the film is covered, and everyone involved is showcased. Viewers will learn the lengths Friedkin went to, to get such authentic reactions from his actors, why Linda Blair was chosen to play Reagan out of more than 500 auditions, and the spooky tie between Friedkin’s choice to use Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells as the iconic theme tune and Richard Branson’s future success. 

The Exorcist: Untold belongs in every horror lover’s collection, right beside their copy of The Exorcist, and perhaps the many remakes and sequels that followed. It is the definitive behind-the-scenes documentary for cultural phenomena like these, a true gift for cinephiles everywhere. 



The Exorcist: Untold (2023) will be released on Blu-Ray and Digital on December 11, 2023 from Reel2Reel Film’s website here.

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