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The Exorcist (BFI Modern Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute; 2nd edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851706738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851706733
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,050,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Kermode's opus remains the definitive work on the movie." -- Empire

About the Author

Mark Kermode is a freelance film critic who contributes regularly to Q magazine and Sight and Sound. He is resident film critic for BBC Radio One and a regular contributor to BBC Radio Two and Radio Four.

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Customer Reviews

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Also, if you like this you should definitely rent or buy the new video re-release.
"donnie@dreamscape.com"
Lots of details regarding how the book was written, the many scripts to be used for filming, how the scenes were made, deleted scenes, etc.
L. Cooper-Ardalich
I recommend this book to any fan of the movie, but I recommend the original book to anyone who can find it.
James A. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason Paul Collum on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Though many books have discussed the classic film THE EXORCIST, none has been so intricate and detailed as this. Author Mark Kermode shows he is both a fan and a historian of the film, its meanings and background. He goes to great lengths to understand, and share with readers, what the film is all about, and what went into making a legendary work. Highly recommended.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By N. P. Stathoulopoulos on April 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm a tremendous fan of William Friedkin and his seminal horror flick The Exorcist. But I'm kind of torn about this book. On the one level, it's nice to have a serious book that considers so many angles on the film, the director, and the source material.
However, this is now the 3rd edition of this book in about five years. Actually, this is called the 'Revised 2nd Edition'. I bought the first two, now why should I plunk down more money?
Mark Kermode is apparently obsessed with this film, maybe a bit too much. As if two books and a part in numerous Exorcist documentaries were not enough for him, we have another edition of the book. Take it easy, Mr. Kermode, it's one movie. I would rather have another BFI book on another Friedkin film (French Connection, Sorcerer, To Live and Die in LA, etc.)
If you don't have either of the two previous editions, I would highly recommend this. I'm guessing the update was primarily to address The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen (one of the most shameless movie titles ever), which of course, included scenes Kermose certainly had seen, and written about in the first two books. But overall, a reverent book.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M KIRK-DUGGAN on September 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
...This superb dissection of the making of the movie "The
Exorcist" is a must have for those interested in devil worship,
the Holy-wood treatment of obscure Christian beliefs and traditions,
and it is a darn good read. In its particulars, this book belongs on
the same shelf as Orson Welles 58-page objection to the studio's
mangling of "Touch of Evil."
I was fascinated with the
insights of the artistic conflicts between the director and the author
of the original book upon which the movie is based. He devotes just
the right amount of analysis to the legal fights surrounding the
proper credits for Mercedes McCambridge, the 'voice' of the demon, and
the stunt double for the possessed girl, including the famous
exorcised 'spider' crawl. He does not allude to the portrayal of
Teilhard de Chardin by Max von Syndow, but does justify his own
insights concerning a homoerotic element not intended by either the
author or the director, but present within this cinematic
classic.
One need not have a personal belief in demonic possession,
and the ability of priests to 'exorcise' multiple personalities, to
truly enjoy both the movie, and Kermode's medical school Anatomy 301
dissection of one of the 100 best movies. The Movie, this book, and
the CD Soundtrack are five-star winners. AMDG
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PM in NY on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The British Film Institute's Modern Classic series are short, critical analyses of ...well...modern film classics. In this one, they take on the horror film "The Exorcist".

Overall, this is a thoughtful analysis that gave me a better understanding of the movie. However, since the book is short (116 pages, about 30 of them pictures), it is not a deep analysis.

The author mostly argures that the movie is more than a mere shockfest. Instead, it shows good's triumph over evil, making "The Exorcist" a deeply spiritual movie. I had realized this on some level, though I never left "The Exorcist" with the same warm fuzzies I got watching, say, "The Bells of St. Mary". Some of the scenes that emphasized more of the "good" were edited out by the director and years later restored in the anniversary version of the movie.

Other than that, there is some background on the real-life exorcism that inspired the novel, some interesting trivia, for instance other considerations for the role of the possessed gir's mother (Shirley McClaine, Anne Bancroft). Some symbolism and foreshadowing are also pointed out.

Otherwise, the book doesn't go much deeper. For instance, there were obvious "homages" to Hitchcock in the movie that even I picked up, that weren't in the book. Some, but not many, explanations on choices of camera angles, lighting, etc. And, i don't think the author supported his description of the movie as a "deeply" textured film....more a "moderately" textured film.

Time is spent describing scenes cut for the original release, but later restored for the anniversary re-release. These descriptions are lenghty and slow, as it was assumed the reader had no conception of the scenes, since the book was written before the restoration.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HenryWingo@aol.com on April 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most interesting books you can find on The Exorcist.If you love the move you'll definitly want to buy this book,it tells all about the movie. My favorite part of the book was when they told about how fredkin added scenes to the original trailer and movie that were subliminal,buy the book and find out how and what for.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "donnie@dreamscape.com" on July 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book about the Exorcist film. Anyone who loves the film (like I do) should buy this book. It tells about the actual possession case that inspired the book and the movie, the making of the movie and the plot, plus discusses deleted scenes and interesting anecdotes about the movie from the director and the actors. Also, if you like this you should definitely rent or buy the new video re-release. It contains a new documentary and the original trailers. It is even better seen in letterbox. Together, the movie and this book would make a great gift for someone who likes "The Exorcist."
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