Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing William Friedkin’s masterpiece, The Exorcist, on 2-Disc 4K and Digital to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The release includes both the 1973 theatrical cut and the 2000 Extended Director’s cut. It is highly regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time and continues to shock audiences who have never seen it before. William Friedkin’s film was adapted from novel by William Peter Blatty who wrote the film’s sceeenplay. It garnered 10 Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture, Director, Best Actress for Ellen Burstyn, Best Supporting Actress for Linda Blair, and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Miller. It won for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay for William Peter Blatty.
The Exorcist is a brutal depiction of demonic possession whose production is as infamous as the movie itself. Friedkin relied on practical effects and physical brutality to bring the possession scenes to life. If you love behind the scenes stories, you’ll want to watch Cursed Films Season 1 Episode 1 and Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on “The Exorcist’, both of which are streaming on Shudder and offer a good deep dive on the film. It’s fascinating to hear Friedkin talk about all of his directorial choices for 100 minutes. Scenes involving a crucifix, pea soup, and the vulgar language spewed by little Regan have been lampooned and copied in pop culture since then, but no movie about devil possession has been able to match what Friedkin pulled off. It’s quite traumatizing to say the least.
Here are the special features:
Disc 1: Extended Director’s Cut from 2000
-commentary by William Friedkin
Disc 2: Theatrical Cut from 1973
-Commentary by William Friedking
-Commentary by Producer/Screenwriter William Peter Platty
-Introduction by Williams Friedkin