The Exorcist Movie Poster

Goofs from The Exorcist

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  • In the basement with the Ouija board, Regan is playing with a table tennis paddle and ball. She puts the ball under the paddle and rests it on the table when her mother brings the Ouija board. Clearly the ball is under the paddle as evidenced by the angle of the paddle. In the very next shot, the paddle is flat on the table and the ball has disappeared. In the next shot, the ball reappears as demonstrated by the angle of the paddle.
  • During the exorcism, Regan is lying on the bed with her head to one side while green vomit is pouring from her mouth onto the bed. When she turns her head to the other side, the tube that pumps this "vomit" is visible on the back of her cheek, just under her ear, which in turn is shown devoid of make-up after the pressure from the pump tube lifts the prosthetic mask away from her neck.
  • At the beginning of the exorcism, Regan's blanket is yellow. Towards the end, when Father Karras is checking her heart, the blanket is blue.
  • Once, in the Iraq sequence, the shadow of a microphone is visible on Father Merrin's hat.
  • After the initial session of exorcism, Father Damien Karras unties Regan's wrist from the bed and ties them together. When Father Merrin returns to resume the session Regan's wrists are again tied to the bed.
  • During the exorcism scene, the pillows underneath Regan's head disappear and then reappear.
  • When Father Karras visits his mother at her house, he removes his collar and places it edge-wise on the shelf. In the next shot, the collar is lying down at a different angle.
  • In the 2000 re-release, when Father Merrin asks Chris McNeil what Regan's middle name is, she is wearing a fur coat. When the priests enter Regan's room and Father Karras closes the door in her face, Mrs. McNeil is no longer wearing the coat. This was fixed on some versions of the DVD by adding a coat digitally.
  • When the clock stops, the pendulum stops on the left side of the clock-casing. When the camera cuts back to the clock the pendulum hangs to the right
  • When Regan insults Karras's mother, the lines don't match her mouth movements.
  • The cigarette that Chris stomps out in the park is back in her hand a moment later.
  • Father Karras's lighter changes hands just as he is about to light a cigarette in his apartment.
  • Near the end of the picture, Father Karras's stole seems to disappear in Regan's room, but that's because he puts a blue pullover on top of it because it's cold in there.
  • When father Karras is in the dorm sitting on the bed smoking a cigarette, the priest takes the cigarette from Karras and lays him down on the bed. When father Karras sits up and grabs the priest's arm, the cigarette is still in Karras's right hand. In the next shot, the cigarette is back with the other priest.
  • During the exorcism scene, the plasma bottle and stand are tipped over, and the nearly-full bottle smashes on the floor. No liquid comes out. That's because the plasma has frozen solid inside the bottle. If you look closely, you can see the plasma shatter along with the glass.
  • William Peter Blatty closely modeled the exorcism scene on the actual rite of exorcism in the Church's "Rituale Romanum". Father Merrin can be seen opening a copy of the Rituale in the scene in question. However, the priests depart from the Rituale in two important details. First, there should have been four people (apart from Regan) in the room during the exorcism: the exorcist himself; an assistant priest to take over in case the exorcist died midway through; a member of the victim's family of the same sex as the victim, to help restrain her; and a doctor, to (among other things) administer any medication that was needed. Due to the "2 Priest rule", Fr Merrin should have delayed the second round of the exorcism and phoned the bishop to get a replacement for Fr Karras, instead of trying to tackle it on his own.
  • In the birds-eye view of the scene where Damien is running around the track before meeting the detective, there is a fly on the camera lens.
  • Wires holding Regan can be clearly seen during the exorcist levitation scenes.
  • After he is vomited on, Karras looks at some drawings and holds them horizontally, but the cut-in shows him holding the drawing vertically.
  • Whille recording Regan, Karras's left hand moves to start the tape recorder, but the cut-in shows him doing it with his right.
  • The wire that yanks Chris (when possessed Regan smacks her to the ground) can be seen lifting the bottom of the curtain where her head lands.
  • At one point in the exorcism, Karras stands right at the end of the bed as it begins to thump on the floor. There's a cut to a wider shot showing this end lifting off the floor but Karras has vanished. A subsequent shot shows him still standing in that spot.
  • When Father Karras first goes to visit Regan, one of the bedside tables next to her bed is gone, along with the rest of the extraneous furniture from the room; later, this bedside table is back in place, though with a different lamp than was initially on it.
  • When Karras listens to the recording of possessed Regan backwards, the questions the priest asks her are heard speaking forward. The questions should be heard backwards. Correction: We don't hear Karras at all when he's listening to the tapes. We only hear Regan speaking backwards at first, and then forwards after the linguist explains she is speaking plain English in reverse. We don't hear Karras' voice at all in that sequence, only Regan's.
  • The bruise on Chris's face changes from scene to scene.
  • The length of Chris's hair changes from scene to scene. This is especially noticeable at her party, her hair is much longer here than in previous scenes.
  • In the establishing shot of Georgetown, a building's signs read "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year." Yet not much later in the film, Chris walks past some trick-or-treating kids.
  • In the basement scene where Father Karras visits the Georgetown home rented by Chris, the 2x10 ceiling joists are fairly new looking despite the fact that it is a Federal-style home (c. 1780-1830) revealing it as a built set and not an actual location of that era.
  • The first medical test Regan has is an arteriogram. This test does require contrast dye to be injected into a large artery, but it is usually the femoral artery (groin) or brachial artery (arm). Very rarely would the carotid artery in the neck be used. The femoral artery is most often used based on its easy access.
  • Despite Dennings being killed the police do not close off the roads or even investigate the McNeil household. If a person is found dead outside a house or other building like in the film the police would have to search the place for clues.
  • When Karras first leaves the McNeil household we see Kindermann from his car looking at a person behind the curtains which is implied to be Regan despite the fact she was strapped to her bed. That's the point of the scene: That Kinderman sees what should not be possible: Regan moving freely about despite being ill and strapped to the bed.
  • Steaming hot water comes out of the tap as quickly as Damien turns on the faucet. It's not possible for water that hot to come through plumbing that fast, especially since the bedroom was on the highest floor of the house and the temperature of the room was at least freezing.
  • When the astronaut is talking shop at the party, he refers to the Gemini space program, pronouncing it as gem-en-eye. The pronunciation at NASA, with the astronauts, and with the general public is gem-en-ee, such as "Jiminy Cricket" in Pinocchio (1940).
  • Around 00:28:45, Regan's nightdress is blue. Around 00:29:29, it's pink.
  • Aroun 01:21:29, Chris is crushing her cigarette. On the next shot, it's in her hand again.
  • When Regan vomits on Damien the first time he meets her, you can clearly see a stunt double actually doing the vomiting.


  • Rubber mats are visible on the steps for the famous fall down the staircase scene.
  • The final scene when the family is driving off in the black Mercedes, the badge naming the type of Mercedes changes from Sxxx to a longer German word.
  • The infamous stairs that Father Karras plummets down are indeed adjacent to the house, though the facade of the wing in which Regan's bedroom is located was added for the film.
  • Around 95 minutes, Father Karras has just seen Regan, and had a long conversation with her, tape recording it. Regan/the demon/the devil" has clearly shown (at least) 6 to 8 "things" in his presence which support an exorcism (IE: Speaking in tongues; Opening a drawer without touching it; Telling Father Karras he could "leave a message for his mother" (she recently died); Speaking in Latin, French, plus backwards in English (none of which Regan had previous knowledge of); Speaking in another voice; Projectile vomiting intentionally; Violently moving her bed and body, etc. Father Karras comes out of the room and speaks with Regan's mother "Chris MacNeil" (played by Ellen Burstyn). Even though all these demonstrations by Regan support an exorcism, all Father Karras tells her mother is one thing which doesn't support it: Regan asked him "What is that" and he replied "Holy water". He then throws the water onto Regan and she reacts violently, writhing and screaming "It burns, it burns". Father Karras says "It was tap water." Chris replies "So what?", and he tells her "This does not support an exorcism." Therefore, even though he has been shown and given many things by the demon many things which support it, the father mentions the single exception to this (which he had lied to the demon about) it being "Holy water" which is a mitigating factor. This is clearly a huge hole in the plot.
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