The Exorcist

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"The highest achievement of Twentieth Century art" - Mark Kermode, BBC Radio 5live

Dr Mark Kermode's favourite film, and oft touchpoint for reviews of other films of all varieties. Stars Max von Soodorf as the eponymous exorcist and Linda Blair as the possessed child.

Dr M has it unpacked on a shelf at home. He will watch it some day. Or maybe not.

Mark's Stag Night consisted of him taking himself to see a 70mm print of The Exorcist and then going home to sleep. "One of the best nights in my life, it was great!" was how he described it, to which Simon replied "What a weirdo."

Mark's love of the film was so renowned that the League Of Gentlemen referenced it in What's On In The Royston Vasey Area listings: the NFT Royston Vasey German war movie triple bill of Das Boot, Das Sock and Das Shoelace was adorned with the quote "good, but not as good as The Exorcist - Mark Kermode."

It is Mark's belief that if a film is good, it will be possible to get to it from The Exorcist in three leaps or fewer.

When The Exorcist was re-released in 1999, Mark promised to stop "banging on about it" as everyone could now judge for themselves. This clearly did not happen. Mark contends that this is because the film was then recut and so became a new thing: "as Bill Clinton said, 'it depends what you mean by "is"'"

See also Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977). Or don't.