Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) and Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow)
One of the all-time great cinematic showdowns pits a particularly nasty Assyrian demon (who has taken temporary residence in the body of a 12-year-old girl) against a pair of unassuming Jesuit priests. Neither man seems ideally suited for this fight. The morose and intense Karras grapples with his faith and calling. Merrin, old and courtly, still bears the psychic wounds of his encounter with Pazuzu many decades earlier. But both prove equal to the task and bravely take a timeless war into the bedroom of a Georgetown apartment. Armed with only a vial of holy water and a copy of The Roman Ritual, our cassocked crusaders successfully drive the demon from the girl, but make the ultimate sacrifice in the process.
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