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Unexplainable Phenomena Movie Facts: Exorcist (1973) 3

By Yona Williams    5/30/08

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Many tales have centered on the shooting of the Exorcist, which took place over the course of a year. Nine people associated with the production had died and a mysterious fire also broke out on the set one weekend, which caused a great deal of destruction. Before the film was ever released – Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros had passed away. Warner Brothers was even sued for the broken jaw of a movie-goer. In this article, you will also learn how author William Peter Blatty funded his quest to write the novel that would become the framework of the movie.

The story actually takes place in the Prospect Avenue apartment that the author, William Peter Blatty, once occupied while he was studying at Georgetown University. At the time of shooting – a woman named Florence Mahoney was the owner and during the shooting of the outside scenes, the crew constructed special sets to allow her garden plants to receive sunlight.

Did you know that the Christian evangelist named Billy Graham actually claimed that an actual demon was residing within the celluloid reels of the movie?

The author of the Exorcist book won $10,000 on the Groucho Marx show "You Bet Your Life" in 1950. Upon being asked what he planned on doing with the money – William Peter Blatty answered that he would take a bit of time off to "work on a novel." The Exorcist was the result. While writing his novel, William Peter Blatty – was collecting unemployment benefits.

The statue of "Pazuzu" made a detour to Hong Kong before it arrived to its intended destination of Iraq.

The Exorcist became a greatly controversial movie because when it was released in 1973 – the film was gaining a reputation of creating mass hysteria. People would faint and scream – causing the paramedics to make several visits to the theaters. There was even a patron who saw the movie in 1974 and fainted as a result – breaking his jaw in the seat in front of him as a result. He sued Warner Brothers, claiming that the film placed subliminal imagery in the movie that led to him passing out. The studio actually settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.

If you took into consideration inflation – the Exorcist would have been the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.

Chances are that you did not see the original teaser trailer for the Exorcist, which was banned in a handful of theaters because it was thought of rather menacing and scary. The trailer was actually nothing but images of a demon with a white face that flashed in and out of darkness.

Warner Brothers wanted Marlon Brando to play the role of Father Merrin, but Friedkin was completely against this choice because he believed if Brando signed on – the film would center on his status and fail to become an important movie to create.

During the first day of filming the exorcism sequence – Linda Blair delivered her cuss-word tirade in such a believable manner that Max Von Sydow (normally recognized for his gentlemanly behavior) actually forgot his lines.

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