Collecting the Exorcist Movie Posters and Memorabilia
The Exorcist blew into movie theaters like a supernatural ill wind in 1973. Movie posters, lobby cards, pressbooks and other memorabilia from this horror classic are tops with collectors. And don't forget the various The Exorcist sequels and prequels, which generated additional film collectibles as well.
William Friedkin's The Exorcist Movie
The Exorcist began as a novel by William Peter Blatty, first published in May 1971 by Harper & Row. Warner Bros. acquired the movie rights, with Blatty writing the screenplay and William Friedkin directing. Ellen Burstyn (Chris MacNeil) and Max Von Sydow (Father Merrin) head the formidable cast, with Jason Miller (Father Karras), Lee J. Cobb (Lt. Kinderman), Linda Blair (Regan MacNeil), Kitty Winn (Sharon Spencer) and Jack MacGowran (Burke Dennings) along for the descent into cinematic hell.
Made at a cost of $10.5 million. The Exorcist proved to be a wild ride into the macabre, featuring Linda Blair as a 12-year-old girl whose body is possessed by an evil entity. Brought in to drive the demonic spirit away is the old priest Max Von Sydow, who performs a marathon exorcism with the help of Jason Miller as the doubting Father Damien Karras.
The Exorcist proved to be a huge hit, raking in $89 million in the Untied States alone and becoming the number one box-office attraction for 1973. The movie also garnered ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jason Miller), Best Actress (Ellen Burstyn) and Best Supporting Actress (Linda Blair). The Exorcist eventually took home two Oscars for Best Screenplay and Best Sound.
Original The Exorcist Movie Posters
The main attraction for many collectors is the standard The Exorcist one sheet poster (27x41-inches), featuring the famous silhouette of Max Von Sydow standing under a streetlight. It's still quite affordable, with one example selling for a reasonable $53 at auction. Also available is a special The Exorcist poster measuring 18.5x24.5-inches. One of these posters brought $74 at auction.
The Exorcist insert poster (14x36-inches) is always popular, with one example fetching a top bid of $40 at auction. For a little foreign flavor, try the 1974 Italian 2 folio poster (39x55-inches), which features different graphics and the title L'Escorcista. One example sold at auction for a mere $16. The British quad poster (30x40-inches) for The Exorcist is also in demand, with one example bringing $109.25 at auction.
The Exorcist Australian daybill poster $11
The Exorcist Lobby Cards, Color Stills, Pressbook
The Exorcist produced a lobby card set of eight for promotional use by theater owners. Featuring various color scenes from the movie, one set sold at auction for $143.40. Also available is The Exorcist mini-lobby card set of eight, with one example selling for a reasonable $33. In that same promotional vein, a handsome 8x10 color still set from the movie numbering 21 photos hit a top bid of $105.16.
The Exorcist pressbook, given out to movie theater owners in order to assist them in promoting the film, will also thrill (or maybe scare) collectors. It features sample poster illustrations and instructions on how to order these items from National Screen Service. One example sold at auction for $25.
The Exorcist color still set picturing 10 of 21 8x10 photos $105.16
The Exorcist Sequels and Prequels
The Exorcist produced two sequels: the god-awful Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) starring Richard Burton, Linda Blair and Max Von Sydow and The Exorcist III (1990) starring George C. Scott, Ed Flanders and Jason Miller. Two prequels followed: Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) starring Stellan Skarsgard and Izabella Scorupco and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005) starring Stellan Skarsgard and Gabriel Mann.
Posters and other movie memorabilia from these various films are still very affordable. A standard one sheet poster (27x41-inches) from Exorcist II sold at auction for $42 while a one sheet example from The Exorcist III brought $11. Posters for the two dueling prequel Exorcist movies can usually be purchased for under $15.
Miscellaneous The Exorcist Movie Memorabilia
Check out these auction results for other miscellaneous collectibles from the original The Exorcist:
- The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, rare advance reading copy, Harper & Row, 1971 in dust jacket $358.50
- The Exorcist script, final draft West Coast version, April 24, 1972 $239
- The Exorcist crucifix prop, Augustinian cross used by both Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair in the movie $3,107
- Famous Monsters of Filmland #111, October 1974, original cover art by Basil Gogos $8,962.50
- Linda Blair autographed 8x10 color photo as a hideous Regan MacNeil $61
- The Exorcist LP album soundtrack signed by Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn and director William Friedkin $66
Famous Monsters of Filmland #111, October 1974. The original cover art by Basil Gogos sold for $8,962.50
Auction Results and Images Source
Heritage Auction Galleries