• Short Summary

    An American film described variously as "evil", "spurious" and "brilliant" has been nominated for ten Academy Awards.

  • Description

    CU ZOOM OUT Exorcist billboard above theatre, people queueing at Warner theatre

    SVs & CUs Doctor talking to girls mother in clip from "The Exorcist"

    SV People leaving Warner theatre

    SV Reporter talking to moviegoers (6 shots)

    GV People queueing outside theatre

    DOCTOR: "Of course there is one outside chance for a cure. I think of it as shock treatment. As I said it's a very outside chance ..."

    MOTHER: "Will you just explain for God's sake what is it?"

    DOCTOR: "Do you have any religious beliefs?"

    MOTHER: "No."

    WOMAN DOCTOR: "What abut your daughter?"

    MOTHER: "No, why?"

    DOCTOR: "You ever heard of exorcism? Well, it's a stylised ritual. The rabbi or the priest try to drive out the so-called invading spirit. It is been pretty much discarded these days except by the Catholics who keep it in the closet as a sort of an embarrassment but it has worked in fact, although not for the reasons they think, of course, it's purely a force of suggestion. The victim's belief in possession is what helps cause it, in the same way that the belief in the power of exorcism can make it disappear."

    MOTHER: "You telling me that I should take my daughter to a witch doctor, is that it?"

    REPORTER: "Did you think it was too shocking to be shown?"

    MAN: "Well, it depends on how you feel."

    REPORTER: "Did it shock you?"

    MAN: "No."

    REPORTER: "Have you just seen The Exorcist

    MAN: "Yes."

    REPORTER: "Were you shocked by it?"

    MAN: "In places, yes, it was a bit ... it came through with a lot of violence when you weren't expecting it but I still think it's a good film."

    REPORTER: "And you think it should be shown to the general public?"

    MAN: "Most of it, yes."

    WOMAN: "I though it was sick, absolutely sick."

    REPORTER: "Do you think it shouldn't be shown to the general public?"

    WOMAN: "No, definitely not."

    REPORTER: "Did you think it was too shocking to be shown?"

    MAN: "Well, I don't consider it you know myself as a ... it wasn't so bad. It was nothing extraordinary."

    WOMAN: "I think it's rather disgusting, but I certainly don't think it's as bad as a lot of the sex films they show."

    REPORTER: "Have you just seen it?"

    GIRL: "I don't know what all the fuss is about."

    MAN: "I think it was a very good film. Brilliant acting, everything I thought it was just great. It deserves all these Oscar nominations and I think it will get them.... it's brilliant. Of course, if one or two were of a nervous disposition you know then you don't go and see it but as far as I'm concerned it 's well worth watching."

    Initials SC/2012 SC/2026

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: An American film described variously as "evil", "spurious" and "brilliant" has been nominated for ten Academy Awards. The film, called "The Exorcist", tells the story of a young girl possessed by the Devil. The so-called "evil spirits" are exorcised in accordance with an ancient ritual, but two men die in the process.

    Explicit and bizarre scenes in the film have been condemned int he United States and in Britain, where it opened to the public on March the 14th. Churchmen, and a politician, called for the film to be banned when it opened.

    Filmgoers are reported to have fainted and vomited in theaters throughout the United States, but there's been a more sober reaction in Britain. Visnews reporter Tim Arlott spoke to filmgoers leaving a London theater after a showing of "The Exorcist". Their reactions were generally favorable -- one man said the film deserved all the Oscar nominations. A woman described the film as "sick", and said it should not be shown to the general public. A transcription of the interviews -- plus a transcription of a clip from the film -- appear below.

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