The Exorcist (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin and produced and written for the screen by William Peter Blatty, based on the 1971 novel of the same name by Blatty. The film stars Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran (in his final film role), Jason Miller, and Linda Blair. It is the first installment in The Exorcist film series, and follows the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother's attempt to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by two priests.

The film is one of a cycle of 'demonic child' movies, including The Omen and Rosemary's Baby.

Music

Lalo Schifrin's working score was rejected by Friedkin. Schifrin had written six minutes of music for the initial film trailer but audiences were reportedly too scared by its combination of sights and sounds. Warner Bros. executives told Friedkin to instruct Schifrin to tone it down with softer music, but Friedkin did not relay the message. It has been claimed Schifrin later used the music written for The Exorcist for The Amityville Horror, but he has denied this in interviews. According to The Fear of God: The Making of the Exorcist on the 25th Anniversary DVD release of the film, Friedkin took the tapes that Schifrin had recorded and threw them away in the studio parking lot.

In the soundtrack liner notes for his 1977 film, Sorcerer, Friedkin said that if he had heard the music of Tangerine Dream earlier, then he would have had them score The Exorcist. Instead, he used modern classical compositions, including portions of the 1972 Cello Concerto No. 1, of Polymorphia, and other pieces by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, Five Pieces for Orchestra by Austrian composer Anton Webern as well as some original music by Jack Nitzsche. The music was heard only during scene transitions. The 2000 "Version You've Never Seen" features new original music by Steve Boeddeker, as well as brief source music by Les Baxter.

What is now considered the "Theme from The Exorcist", i.e. the piano-based melody which opens the first part of Tubular Bells, the 1973 debut album by English progressive rock musician Mike Oldfield, became very popular after the film's release, although Oldfield himself was not impressed with the way his work was used.

In 1998 a restored and remastered soundtrack was released by Warner Bros. (without Tubular Bells) that included three pieces from Lalo Schifrin's rejected score. The pieces are "Music from the unused Trailer", an 11-minute "Suite from the Unused Score", and "Rock Ballad (Unused Theme)".

That same year, the Japanese version of the original soundtrack LP did not include the Schifrin pieces but did include the main theme from Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, and the movement titled Night of the Electric Insects from George Crumb's string quartet Black Angels.

The Greek song playing on the radio when Father Karras leaves his mother's house is called "Paramythaki mou" (My Tale) and is sung by Giannis Kalatzis. Lyric writer Lefteris Papadopoulos has admitted that a few years later when he was in financial difficulties he asked for some compensation for the intellectual rights of the song. Part of Hans Werner Henze's 1966 composition Fantasia for Strings is played over the closing credits.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Exorcist (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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