• Matt

THE EXORCIST

Updated: Apr 21

Released in the winter of 1973, this supernatural horror film was directed by William Friedkin and produced and written for the screen by William Peter Blatty. It is the first installment in The Exorcist film series, and follows the demonic possession of twelve year-old Regan and her mother's attempt to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by two Catholic priests. It became the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, one of ten Academy Awards it was nominated for, winning for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound. It was also the highest-grossing R-rated horror film (unadjusted for inflation) until the 2017 release. The Exorcist has had a significant influence on popular culture and has received critical acclaim, with several publications regarding it as one of the greatest horror films ever made. In 2010, the Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved in its National Film Registry, citing it as culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

 

THE MACNEIL HOUSE

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 5, 2019
LOCATION: WASHINGTON DC
MAP

This 2,808 square foot house was built in 1950 and it was last sold in 2003 for just over two-million dollars. During production a false wing was added to the house for filming so it would be more believable for the scene where Father Karras leaped out of Regan's bedroom window and fell down the flight of stairs to his death. The house interiors were filmed at the old Ceco Studios, also known as Movietone Studio in New York City.




The famous scene where Father Merrin arrives at the MacNeil residence was partially inspired by a 1954 painting William Friedkin had seen called "Empire of Light" by Rene Magritte, and was the very first scene that Max Von Sydow shot for the film.


 

THE EXORCIST STAIRS

DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 5, 2019
LOCATION: WASHINGTON DC
MAP

The exorcist stairs are located a very short distance from the MacNeil House. They were padded with half-inch-thick (13 mm) rubber to film the death of the character Father Karras. Because the house from which Karras falls is set back slightly from the stairs, the film crew constructed an extension with a false front to the house in order to film the scene. The stuntman tumbled down the stairs twice. Georgetown University students would charge people around $5 each to watch the stunt being performed from the rooftops.





 

Hopefully in the future we will get to do more locations associated with The Exorcist. For even more photo's that we took of the locations featured above, check them out via our Facebook page.

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