The 1970s film 'The Exorcist' is to be re-released with a religious message cut from the original release intact.
    The cut was made after William Blatty, a devout Catholic who was producer of the film and author the book, lost an argument with director William Friedkin. Blatty wanted to give a clear message of good prevailing over evil.
    In a statement accompanying the film's re-release, Friedkin said: "This is the version that Bill Blatty always believed in and it's taken me 26 years to see why and finally agree with him.
    "The restored footage not only deepens the spiritual foundation of the film but adds some truly terrifying moments as well."
    The Exorcist was considered ground-breaking at the time of its release in 1973. It earned 10 Academy Award nominations and won two Oscars.
    The restored version includes a priest saying Satan has only one purpose: "The point is to see ourselves as animal and ugly, to reject the possibility that God could love us."
    Director Friedkin originally objected to the scene, saying: "I am directing a film, not making publicity for the Catholic Church."
    The newly released version of The Exorcist also features an ending in which an atheist character is brought closer to God.
25 Sep 00

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