The Exorcist film reaches the audience
Warner Bros producers of the film Exorcist used a very conservative release pattern, they opened the film only in thirty cinemas, where the Exorcist was played exclusively for only six months. Actually this conservative release strategy would have killed off the majority of candidate blockbusters, but the film Exorcist was unstoppable, and did not influenced the route of film to be a phenomenon, and it remains the highest - grossing film of all time.
The Audience response
There was a hysterical response, there were audiences fainting and vomiting - cinemas had kity litter waiting to clean up after the Exorcist screening. Also there were audience prefearing to leave theater rather than exposing themselves to watch more screenings. According to Toronto Medical four women had to be confined to psychiatric care after seeing the Exircist. In Berkely - California, one viewer attacked the screen in an effort to “get the demon”.
The director of Exorcist William Friedkin was considering recalling and re- editing the film, but the Studio executives had a different opinion and the film was kept as it was in the first realease.
The reaction of Catholic Church
The Catholic Church supported the film and according to Catholic Times it was profoundly spiritual. There was also a large number of request for exorcisms in Catholic church - scepticism was the official Catholic Church response.
The reaction of Scientific community
The majority of doctors and psychiatrists were less impressed and the warn audience of the possible dangers watching this film.
Actually, the Exorcist was responsible for the definition of a new clinical condition known as “cinematic neurosis”, in which disturbing films exposed psychiatric problems in people with no history of mental illness. The Exorcist is being considered the first ever film to had a such widespread neurotic audience response. According to experts part of its power was related to be its depiction of disturbed childhood, recalling unresolved youthful anxieties etc.
The Exorcist was also blamed to be responsible and source of motivation for a range of criminal and suicidal acts and antisocial behavior. Among them is included one murder in UK - in October 1974 a teen had killed a nine - year - old girl told to York Crown Court that watching the Exorcist made him to do it.
The reaction of Industry
In the beginning in the USA the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) had given it an R rating, allowing children to see the film with parental approval, but there was the pressure of the media, the public and finally the R rating changed, from R rating to 17 years certificate. In United Kingdom the film Exorcist passed uncut with a X certificate but it was unvailable on home video for fourteen years.
The reaction of Goverments and others
In Tynisia the film Exorcist was banned in 1975, because it was considered by authorities a Christian propaganda film. On the other hand the Evangelical groups in United States, believe that Exorcist was a pure Satanic film.
Fortunately, the Academy Award Board had a different opinion and the film Exorcist was nominated for 10 Oscar Awards.