‘The Exorcist’ and its head-spinning legacy
Has it really been 50 years since The Exorcist first scared the bejesus out of everyone? I interviewed the author of the new tribute, The Exorcist Legacy: 50 Years of Fear (2023, Kensington), for a piece that recently popped on the Mystery Scene website.
Nat Segaloff was working as publicity director for a Boston theater chain when Exorcist first opened. He subsequently got to know both filmmaker William Friedkin and author William Peter Blatty, who wrote the 1971 bestseller on which the film is based as well as its Oscar-winning screenplay adaptation. Curious about the Exorcist “curse” (the weird goings-on during the film’s production)? The industry backlash when the movie was nominated for 10 Oscars, but won only two? How about how the film’s star-less cast contributed to the film’s success? In his exhaustive compendium, Segaloff provides all the background details, and explains why the film ranks as a great whodunit.
P.S. Back in 1973, Yours Truly was among the throngs standing in a line that wrapped around an entire city block, waiting to see the movie at the National Theatre in Westwood, California. Hey, it was worth the wait!