The Exorcist is one of the most beloved horror movies of all time, but how much do you really know about ’73 classic?
7. Jane Fonda Was Supposed to Play the Mother
She turned down the role in spectacular fashion, sending a telegram to the studio reading “Why would anyone want to make this piece of capitalist rip-off bullshit?”
6. The Original Victim Was a Boy
William Peter Blatty’s original novel was based on a bizarre true story from 1949 where an unnamed Washington D.C. boy was allegedly taken over by a demon.
5. Father Merrin’s Makeup Took Longer Than Regan’s
It took makeup master Dick Smith and crew three hours a day to turn Linda Blair into her demonic form, but the old age makeup on Max von Sydow took four hours.
4. The Sound Guy’s Girlfriend Deserves an Oscar
Audio wildman Jack Nitzsche would go to the ends of the earth for the perfect sound, and he got Regan’s pained howls by jumping on his sleeping girlfriend’s back – knees first!
3. The Subway Drunk Was Really Drunk
The homeless man who asks Father Karras for money was a real New York indigent named Vinny Russell, who showed up to the set plastered to do his scene.
2. William Friedkin Slapped a Priest
Friedkin cast an actual Jesuit priest in the role of Father Dyer, but when the untrained actor couldn’t nail his scene, the director took him to the side, said “I love you” then slapped him in the face!
1. The Iraqi Government Wanted to Learn How to Make Fake Blood
The prologue to The Exorcist was shot in Iraq, which the United States had no diplomatic relations with at the time. The government’s demands to the film crew were that they teach Iraqis filmmaking techniques, most notably how to create good-looking cinematic blood.