Carrie was not only Stephen king’s first published novel, released on April 5, 1974. Carrie was also the first novel to be made into a movie in 1976. I felt that keeping up with the Stephen king month here at The Daily Bookworm it was only fitting that we start with King’s first success not only as a novel, but also his first success in the movies.
Stephen King got the idea for Carrie while working in a laundry. Some of the characters, like her religiously fanatical mother, were based on people who worked there with him. Stephen King based Carrie White on two girls he knew while at school, both were social outcasts from deeply religious families and both died while still in their twenties.
Carrie | Plot
The plot revolves around Carrie White, a social outcast teenage girl who suffers frequent abuse from her religious mother Margaret White and classmates, especially Chris Hargensen. Carrie discovers early in the story that she possesses latent telekinetic powers that seem to manifest when she becomes angry or otherwise distressed.
She is invited to prom by classmate Tommy Ross by request of another classmate and girlfriend Sue Snell. At the prom she falls victim to a prank by Chris and her boyfriend Billy, thereafter Carrie uses her powers to exact revenge against the student body.
The Movie (1976)
- Directed by: Brian De Palma
- Produced by: Paul Monash
- Screenplay by: Lawrence D. Cohen
- Based on: “Carrie” by Stephen King
- Release Date: November 3, 1976
- Production cost: 1.8 Million
- Movie Gross: 33.8 Million
- Sissy Spacek
- Amy Irving
- John Travolta
- Piper Laurie
Spacek was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, while Laurie was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
A poll was taken in the 1980’s and Carrie is considered to be one of the most watched movies by teens on Halloween.
- Sue Snell and her mother are played by real-life daughter and mother Amy Irving and Priscilla Pointer.
- The ring that Amy Irving wears throughout the movie was a gift to her from Stephen King the author of the book the film is based on.
- The name of the high school is Bates High, a reference to Norman Bates from Psycho. In addition, the four note violin theme from Psycho is used over and over in the film.
- The pig’s blood dumped on Sissy Spacek was karo syrup and food coloring, although she was willing to have real blood dumped on her.
- The fake blood dropped on Sissy Spacek kept drying and adhering to her skin because of the hot lights. The only solution was to hose her down when the substance got gluey.
- Many of the girls present in the locker room were originally hesitant to appear nude in the film, but after Brian De Palma showed them the nude shots of Sissy Spacek, they became more confident.
- Brian De Palma wanted Betty Buckley to really slap Nancy Allen. Because Allen couldn’t get the reaction De Palma wanted, Buckley ended up slapping her as many as thirty times.
- In Carrie’s house, the statue of a religious figure shot with arrows represents St. Sebastian. It is not a crucifix and does not represent Jesus Christ.
- In the second-to-last scene (where Amy Irving lays flowers on Carrie’s grave) to make it more “eerie”, the shot was filmed backwards – then run in reverse in slo-mo – to give it a surreal effect. This is evidenced by a background automobile traversing the perpendicular intersection backwards, which the viewer can clearly observe as driving in reverse.
Carrie | Stephen King’s Horror Story Gets a 2013 Makeover
“Carrie is a new screen interpretation of the Stephen King horror novel, which explores what happens when a teenager (Chloë Grace Moretz) – ostracized by her peers and tormented by her unhinged religious-fundamentalist mother (Julianne Moore) – discovers that she possesses telekinetic abilities that provide her with a newfound, dangerous and maybe even uncontrollable power to use against those who’ve tormented her in the past”.