ByDean Round, writer at
Fan of good ol' slasher films. Love me a bit of Jaws too!
Dean Round

The first Stephen King novel to be adapted into a movie, Carrie (1976) tells the story of a high school senior named Carrie White. A somewhat reclusive girl, Carrie is the outsider of her class and she is the constant victim of their taunts and bullying.

Carrie's mother is an insanely religious, overpowering, abusive woman, who believes that pretty much everything to do with the transformation into womanhood is sinful.

Following her unexpected first period, Carrie becomes an even bigger target for her classmates and their ruthless bullying. Having been raised by her mother, Carrie is totally unfamiliar with what has just happened to her, and she is under the belief that something is terribly wrong. After being comforted by her gym teacher, Miss Collins, she is taught that what happened was a totally normal thing for a girl of her age to experience.

Miss Collins punishes the other girls for their cruelty, making them serve detention with her after school. One of the girls, Sue Snell, has a change of heart, and proposes that her boyfriend Tommy ask Carrie to the prom instead of her. However, Chris Hargenson, one of the girls that has been banned from attending the prom, has other ideas, deciding to concoct the ultimate revenge plan on Carrie. Teaming up with her boyfriend Billy, her plan involves a bucket of pig's blood, the prom, and the unsuspecting Carrie.

But there is one thing that nobody counted on, and that is the secret power that Carrie has - the power of telekinesis. Being able to move objects with her mind, the students are soon going to learn a terrible lesson; If you've got a taste for terror... take Carrie to the prom.

This year will mark the 40th anniversary since its theatrical release, so let's take a look at some behind-the-scenes shots and get to know some trivia that may leave stunned!

Did you know there were two remakes, a sequel to the original plus a stage production of Carrie?

1. Carrie (1976).

Directed by Brian De Palma and starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta, Nancy Allen and Betty Buckley, the original film was written by Stephen King. Nominated for two Academy Awards (Sissy Spacek for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Piper Laurie for Best Actress in a Supporting Role), the 1976 film was ranked inside the top 100 of Empire Magazine's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time list in 2006.

2. The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999).

A mere 26 years later, United Artists and Red Bank Films decided to bring out a sequel starring Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno and J. Smith-Cameron. The film follows teenager Rachel Lang (Bergl), who raises the concern of school counselor Sue Snell (Amy Irving) after realizing that the teenager may very well be telekinetic. It later transpires that Lang is the half sister of Carrie White (they had the same father), and as she becomes the victim of a cruel prank, her tormentors will soon realize that terror runs in the family.

3. Carrie (2002).

This 2002 version was a made-for-television remake of the original film and starred Angela Bettis, Patricia Clarkson, Rena Sofer and Kandyse McClure. It was originally meant to serve as a two-part pilot for a possible TV series, but due to bad ratings, this idea was eventually scrapped.

4. Carrie (2013).

Directed by Kimberly Peirce and starring Julianne Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gabriella Wilde and Portia Doubleday, this 2013 version is a re-imagining of the 1976 original. The film differs from its predecessor in many ways, including the beginning, which starts with a separate introductory section showing Margaret giving birth to Carrie. Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays the title character, differs from Sissy Spacek's Carrie, not least in the way that she doesn't physically conform to the sheepish, timid and shy girl. Moretz's look is more of a sweet-looking girl, who altogether is much less of an outsider. The film also conforms to it's transformation to the twenty first century, by using advances in technology, such as cell phones and the use of internet, to add a modern twist.

The musical.

Lawrence D. Cohen, who wrote the script to the original 1976 film, teamed up with double Oscar-winning American composer Michael Gore to produce a musical based on Stephen King's 1973 novel.

In 1988 it had its Stratford try-out from February 13 until March, before moving in April that year to Broadway at the Virginia Theater. Reviews were not favorable for the production, with The New York Times stating that the "more-than-$7 million show...was the most expensive quick flop in Broadway history."

In 2012 it had its Off-Broadway Revival, before moving in 2015 to an Off-West End Production and a Los Angeles Production.

You can watch the production here.

The film had various promotional posters.

United States and Spanish Posters.

German and Turkish Posters.

Mexican Poster.

Italian Poster.

Interesting facts.

During the pre-production stage, De Palma's close friend, George Lucas, was in the middle of casting for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Deciding to combine forces, the pair held joint casting sessions, where they worked together to decide which actors would be the best choice for each other’s film.

It's hard to imagine Carrie being played by another actress besides Sissy Spacek, but she wasn't originally even considered for the part. Her husband, Jack Fisk, who worked as a production designer on The Revenant (2015), Knight of Cups (2015), To the Wonder (2012) and The Master (2012), persuaded director De Palma to give her an audition. To encapsulate the character, Spacek turned up to her audition without washing and wearing hair covered it in Vaseline, an idea which clearly paid off.

Linda Blair was considered to play the role of Carrie White, but she declined the part for fear of being typecast after her turn in The Exorcist (1973).

Six-time Oscar nominee, Glenn Close, auditioned to play the part of the 17 year old title character. If the star of recent films such as The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015), Anesthesia (2015), 5 to 7 (2014) and Low Down (2014) was successful, then she would have been 29 at the time of the film's release. Her future roles will be in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) and What Happened to Monday? (2016).

Automata (2014) and Hawaii Five-0 (2010– ) actress Melanie Griffith was in contention to play Carrie White, having auditioned for the part.

The young boy who taunts the title character by shouting "Creepy Carrie, creepy Carrie" whilst riding on his bike, was played by Cameron De Palma, who is the nephew of director Brian De Palma.

Actress P.J Soles was originally meant to have a small supporting role in the film where she was scheduled to be cast for only a couple of weeks. However, in this scene at the start of the film, where the girls are playing volleyball, De Palma was so impressed with the actress after seeing her whack Sissy Spacek with her notorious baseball cap, that he kept her in the film for longer. (On a side note, did anyone else notice that on the team that Carrie is playing on, there are only six players, yet on the opposing team there are eight?).

In the scene where Carrie (Sissy Spacek) is in the library at school before being approached by Tommy Ross (William Katt), she is trying to find out more on telekinesis. The book that she picks up (The Secret Science Behind Miracles), is actually a published piece of work. Written in 1948 by author Max Freedom Long, the description that Carrie recites, is a precise extract from the book.

For those eagle-eyed viewers out there, you may have noticed a couple of nods towards Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho. The first one comes directly from the name of the high school which the film is set - Bates High School. This is a clear reference towards the main character from Hitchcock's masterpiece, Norman Bates. The second nod comes from the four-note violin theme which is heard in various scenes, such as when Carrie is looking in the mirror at home and uses her powers to make it smash.

One of Carrie's classmates, Sue Snell, is played by the actress Amy Irving, and in the film, her mother is played by actress Pricilla Pointer. Interestingly enough, the pair are mother and daughter in real life too.

Nancy Allen (Chris Hargensen) and director Brian De Palma dated, and eventually went on to marry, on 12 January 1979 before divorcing five years later. They have worked on four movies together, one of which, Dressed to Kill (1980), was written by De Palma with Allen in mind to play the the role of the prostitute .

Actress P.J. Soles (Norma) revealed in a 2010 interview that the film set was frequented by director Steven Spielberg. According to the actress, Spielberg visited the set after being told by De Palma that there were "a lot of cute girls down here." Having requested dates with Soles and other female cast member's, with not a lot of luck, Amy Irving accepted. The couple went on to date and eventually marry on 27 November 1985 before divorcing on 2 February 1989. On June 13 1985, they welcomed their only child together, a son named Max, who went on to be his mothers assistant on the sequel, The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999).

There was an original scene at the beginning of the film, which was later scrapped, where Carrie and her mother had a fight, resulting in the house being showered upon by rocks and pebbles. To keep in with continuity, the script originally had the house destroyed by rocks and boulders at the end of the film. But after spending an entire evening trying to achieve the effect, it was left abandoned, and the filmmakers made the decision to burn the house down instead. This effect was much more successful, and so was kept in the film. However, in this scene at the end, you can still see boulders raining through the roof when the pair of them are inside.

Carrie's mother Margaret White (Piper Laurie) is known to be a remarkably religious woman, quoting passages from the Bible throughout the film. Strange to think then, that not a single passage that she recites is actually real. Take the part where she quotes part of Genesis Chapter 3, for instance, where she tells her daughter that sexuality is evil. In the Bible, Genesis Chapter 3 actually tells the story of Adam and Eve in the Biblical Gardens where they eat the forbidden fruit, and this passage does not feature anywhere in the Bible.

There are several scenes in the film which show a religious figurine tied to a post and shot with arrows. The way in which the figure is positioned has often made some to believe that it is a representation of Jesus Christ on a crucifix, but it is, in fact, a depiction of St. Sebastian. The devout Christian was left bound in a field to be used as a target for Emperor Diocletian's archers of Mauritania after converting soldiers and Roman politicians to his own faith.

Behind the scenes photo's.

Sissy Spacek, William Katt, Sydney Lassick, John Travolta and Nancy Allen.

Sissy Spacek, Brian De Palma and William Katt.

Nancy Allen and William Katt

Sissy Spacek between takes.

Betty Buckley & P.J. Soles.

William Katt, P.J. Soles and Sissy Spacek at the school prom.

Shooting of the prom massacre.

John Travolta and Nancy Allen.

You can check out what the cast now look like here!

So, what do you guys think about the film? Take part in the poll below, and don't forget to sound off in the comments section too!


Do you think Carrie is the best film adaptation of a Stephen King novel?


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