The Exorcist changed the game for horror movies when it opened to record-breaking numbers back in 1973.
In a pre-Spielberg and Star Wars era, director William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel became a true cultural phenomenon, earning $440 million in 1973 money (more than $2 billion in adjusted currency).
And now, YouTube users, historycomestolife and Behind The Exorcist have unearthed a treasure in the form of videos from the very first screenings of the film.
Prepare yourself for some pea-soup puking because the videos are a treat. They’re supremely edited with a brilliant newsreel vibe. They transport you to an era familiar to many only through the movies, an era that’s just witnessed massive change through the Vietnam War and the freewheeling hippie culture, an era on the cusp of the new Hollywood movement.
It feels like you’re in one of those classic 70’s flicks, many of which were directed by William Friedkin, as audiences wait in queues, braving the elements, only to find that yet another screening has been sold out.
We can sense the anticipation in the crowd as they wait to finally experience what everyone’s been talking about. Remember, this was a time before spoilers could be posted on Twitter. It almost makes you wish you’d experienced some of today’s biggest movies armed with only a trailer and an innocent sense of wonder at the magic that could potentially happen in the dark environs of a movie theatre.