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Carrie Special Edition (1976)

1/12/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Carrie Special Edition (1976) in the USA - or Buy Carrie Special Edition (1976) in the UK

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pub: MGM 16149CDVD. 94 minute film with extras. Price: under GBP 4.00 (UK) if you know where to look). Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt, Amy Irving, John Travolta, Nancy Allen and Betty Buckley.

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‘Carrie’ was Stephen King’s first sold novel and made into a memorable landmark film by Brian DePalma that stayed faithful to its source. It certainly give a bump start to the careers of many of its cast. The music by Pino Donaggio is exemplary in playing down before rising up to the tense moments and has deservedly done massive sales on its own CD.

Carrie White (actress Sissy Spacek) is an adolescent misfit at high school, who because of her religious and strict mother, Margaret (actress Piper Laurie), is emotionally stricken with her first period in the school gym’s showers, beginning to demonstrate telekinetic abilities. The other pupils are hardly helpful and bullying so later are all put on detention for a week or no tickets to the prom. Chris Hargenson (actress Nancy Allen) rebels but Sue Snell (actress Amy Irving), regretting her actions, talks her boy-friend Tommy Ross (actor William Katt) to take Carrie to the prom. In the meantime, Carrie’s telekinetic ability is developing under the stress she is feeling. Chris talks her boy-friend, Billy Nolan (actor John Travolta) into setting up a prank to get her own back at Carrie at the prom. It is then, literally, all hell breaks loose.

In many respects, back when I read the book when it first came out and later with the film, I always felt sorry for Carrie. Another bullied person hitting back at those who bullied her in a bigger way than they would ever have dreamed of. A teen-ager bullied not only by her class-mates but also her own mother, Carrie didn’t really have a chance. How many us in the SF community experienced that? Unfortunately, we don’t develop telekinetic abilities to fight back, let alone with such devastating retribution. It’s also a sharp reminder to be nice than bd to people.

DePalma directed this film with great sensitivity and it still holds up well thirty-four years later. The extras tell you more about the film, making this DVD an interesting insight for your indulgence. I often wonder if the film caused British schools to adopt a prom night instead of calling it an end-of-term dance like we used to. Makes a worrying thought that teachers are looking for a similar people, doesn’t it?

GF Willmetts

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