A re-release with an impeccable digital soundtrack and ten minutes of extra footage, including the notorious 'spider walk' (which lasts about 3 seconds) and a longer coda with corny banter between the cop and Father Dyer. As any aficionado will tell you, this is not a 'director's cut' in any real sense (Friedkin's version was released in 1973), but it's probably closer to how writer/producer Blatty might have edited the film. As well as new subliminal demon imagery, it also includes a scene between Chris and Regan's first doctor, and an expanded role for von Sydow's Father Merrin, most notably a key speech about why the demon has picked on this little girl: to make us despair for humanity. In other words it's now more than ever a faithful Catholic treatise on Evil, even if the film's shock effects remain at least half the story. Either way it's rigged, but it certainly puts you through an emotional grinder.
Cast and crew
William Peter Blatty
Ellen Burstyn Max von Sydow Lee J Cobb Kitty Winn Jack MacGowran Jason Miller Linda Blair