Directed by William Friedkin and released in the US on December 26, 1973, The Exorcist is an Oscar-winning psychological horror and drama, inspired by true events.
The film was notable for being one of the biggest box-office successes in film history – surpassing The Godfather (1972) as the biggest money-maker of its time. It is cited by many critics as the greatest horror film of all time.
The film was enormously popular with moviegoers at Christmas-time of 1973, but some portions of the viewing audience fled from theaters due to nausea or sheer fright/anger, especially during the long sequence of invasive medical testing performed on the hapless patient. Its tale of the devil came at a difficult and disordered time when the world had just experienced the end of the Vietnam War (US troop withdrawal and the fall of Saigon) and at the time of the coverup of the Watergate office break-in (also in Washington, D.C.).
Critically, it was presented with ten Academy Award nominations, two of which won (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound). The other eight nominations included: Best Picture, Best Actress (Ellen Burstyn), Best Supporting Actor (Jason Miller), Best Supporting Actress (Linda Blair), Best Director, Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman), Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, and Best Film Editing. Until The Silence of the Lambs (1991), the film was the only horror film to be nominated for Best Picture in Academy Award history.
Website dedicated to the film: captainhowdy.com