lior Blatty‘. a (‘atholie edueated hy .lesuits at (ieorgetown l'niy‘ersity. the exehange was erueial: but it was eut. along with some other dialogue seenes. by William l‘riedkin who felt that they were unneeessary and oy'erstated. .-\s the direetor says. “in tne. the whole ttto\ic was ahout what they were talking ahoul. so why are they" talking about it'." .\'e\ertheless. oyer the last 25 years. Blatty has repeatedly asked l‘ot' those oy‘et'tly' theological scenes to he reinstated. something which liriedkin has
always resisted. eyen to the point ol‘
suggesting that they no longer exist.
Last year. a team from the BB(‘. in eonjunetion with Warner Bros at Burhank. loeated those \‘ery sequenees. and they haye now been presery'ed for posterity (along with the legendary unused ‘spider-w'alk‘ speeial
el‘l‘eet) in a doeumentary entitled The l-k'ur ()f
Blatty' still hopes that. at some point in the future. liriedkin will reinstate those missing seenes which he l3CllC\‘Cs will transl‘orin 'l‘ln' litmrisi from 'a superb thriller" into ‘a truly
ntasterl‘ul l‘ilin’. lior his part. l’riedkin although happy l‘or t‘ilin l‘ans to he able to View" those sequenees remains eonl‘ident that he was right to eut thein heeause. "I‘lu' limit/st as it is. is as near perl‘eet a tilni as I can make'. lior me. as a tan ot' the llltH'lL‘ who has watehed it on a regular basis l’or longer than I care to l'L‘lllL‘lltlk‘l'. I do seriously heliey e that in its original (and indeed only ) Version. it is the greatest l‘ilin ey'er inade. Whether the reinstatement ol those missing seenes that
Blatty' so loy‘es would hay'e ntade it hetter or
worse. I simply ean‘t tell. What I do know is that nobody who goes to see the 35th anniversary" remastered print oi 'l‘ln' /-.'.\'on'isl. with its new stereo soundtrack. will walk out the theatre uninoyed. l'nless. that is. they have to carry you out.
The Exorcist is re-released in Scotland on Friday 19 June. The Fear Of God is broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday 13 June, and a longer version will screen at the Edinburgh Film Festival in August.
Linda Blair in The Exorcist 1‘
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