It’s an iconic scene: Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, dressed in satin of the palest pink, has just been named Prom Queen. As she accepts the award, a smile lights up her face. Suddenly a bucket of pig’s blood showers over her, drenching her in red. All hell literally breaks loose as Carrie uses her telekinetic powers to wreak vengeance on the entire school.
Today, Carrie is considered one of the finest horror movies ever made. It shocked audiences, was a box office smash, and earned Academy Award nominations for both Spacek and Piper Laurie, who played Carrie’s overbearing, religious fanatic mother. The film also features John Travolta in his first major motion picture role.
Carrie helped introduce the world to the modern “King” of horror, Stephen King. The novel Carrie, his first published book, had appeared in 1974. The 1976 film version became the first of many movies based on King’s work. Don’t look for the author himself in Carrie, though – unlike most movies based on his books, Stephen King has no cameo in the film.
Carrie is part of the MIT Libraries’ ever-growing DVD collection, which includes everything from Bergman (both Ingmar and Ingrid) to Kurosawa to the Farrelly brothers. Carrie, like many films in the Humanities Library collection, was made available through the generosity of Stephen Brophy, a lecturer in Writing Across the Curriculum, a part of MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies.