“Carrie is an absolutely spellbinding horror movie,” raves renowned film critic Roger Ebert in his 1976 review. “It’s also (and this is what makes it so good) an observant human portrait.” This is bold praise for Brian De Palma’s masterful 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s first horror novel. Carrie, the film, turns 40 years old this week!
Released on November 3, 1976, Carrie was a huge box office success in 1976. It debuted at #1 on the charts and would remain there for three of the next four weeks. After a $3.2 million opening weekend, Stephen King’s first film adaptation (for which he was paid $2,500 for the rights) went on to gross $33.8 million during its theatrical run. What a huge return on a meager budget of just $1.8 million!
The film solidified the careers of director Brian De Palma and relative Hollywood newcomer Sissy Spacek. De Palma would go on to direct Scarface and The Untouchables, among others. For Spacek, the film marked the first of SIX Academy Award Nominations for Best Actress. While she lost out to Faye Dunaway in 1976, she would take home the gold in 1981 for The Coal Miner’s Daughter.
It’s impossible to mention Carrie without talking about “the scene.” You know what I’m talking about. The blood bath (literally) at the prom! There are few images in the annals of horror more iconic than an enraged Carrie White covered in blood about to open a case of whup ass on those who crossed her. I mean, who DOESN’T know what movie this still is from?
Fans of the film looking to own it on home video can rejoice. Earlier this year Shout Factory released a 2 Disc 40th anniversary Blu-ray Collector’s Edition. It features a 4K scan of the film from the original negative and tons of new interviews and bonus content.
More good news. If you are into instant gratification (or if you want to save yourself $30), Carrie is also available to stream now on Amazon Prime and on Hulu Plus!
Fortieth Anniversary viewing party, anyone?