The Exorcist

Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers, 1972. Original maquette demonstrating an early poster design for the 1973 film, featuring a vintage silver gelatin photograph of the legendary streetlit scene of Father Merrin’s first arrival to Georgetown in the film mounted to the poster.

A minimal design, without the credits information seen in the completed original “purple style” poster variant, and with a proposed (but ultimately unrealized) release date of Christmas Day shown at the bottom margin. This maquette compares both to the “purple style” poster in its use of said purple text, but also to the original black and white “special poster” design both in size and compositional austerity. The “special poster” measured 25 x 19 inches, as opposed to the standard 27 x 41 inches for the one sheet, and stated nothing but the film’s title and the stark photo of Father Merrin.

Based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, and written for the screen by Blatty. One of the great genre films of the 1970s that accomplished the uncommon feat of being an over-the-top sensation upon its release and gaining subsequent status as a classic, with a strangeness and depth supplied by Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow that only increases with repeated viewings. Another distinction was that it walked away with two Oscars (including Best Screenplay for Blatty), along with eight nominations (including Best Picture), a feat nearly unheard for a horror film.

Set in Washington DC, and shot on location in Washington DC (notably Georgetown University), New York City, and Mosul, Iraq.

18 x 12.5 inches mounted on a 30 x 20 inch mat. Black, with the vintage black and white photo of Father Merrin affixed at the center and a hand painted release date. Title letters are hand cut from purple paper and affixed in place. Good condition, with water damage to the bottom three inches of the mat, and with soil and loss of glue adhesion to the white mat. Archivally matted and framed in a museum-quality frame with UV glass.

National Film Registry. Clover, "Men, Women, and Chainsaws."

[Book #145005]