Classic scene: Carrie

The horror of Stephen King’s first big-screen outing…

Think you’ve started to develop telekinetic powers from talking to your houseplants all day? Then our next classic rewatch pick might be for you. Stephen King’s very first published novel was also his very first big-screen adaptation: Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and Piper Laurie was released in 1976 and is often cited as one, if not the best of King’s page-to-screen adaptations.

But did you also know…

1) Spacek got into character by purposefully isolating herself from the rest of the cast during production. Co-star P.J. Soles recalled an event on the first or second day of shooting: “Sissy came over to a group of us, maybe at lunch, I don’t remember, and said, ‘I love you guys, we’re going to have a great shoot, I’m very excited to be working on this. But I just want to let you guys know, I’m going to alienate myself from you. I want to feel that alienation. But I really like you and afterwards we’ll party and we’ll have a great time. But don’t take it personally.’”

2) For the final scene, as Sue Snell (Amy Irving) visits Carrie’s grave in a dream sequence, director Brian De Palma had Irving walk backwards, then ran the film in reverse to get an eerie otherworldly-quality — watch the car driving in reverse in the background at the 1:13 mark. 

3) Timing for casting Carrie coincided with the casting for Star Wars, and as Brian De Palma and George Lucas were looking for relatively unknown actors around the same age they held joint auditions. Irving originally auditioned for Star Wars, and said of her experience: “Everybody in town was going in on this and Brian De Palma was sitting in the corner of all the interviews that George was giving and he was kind of like making a little mental note to say, ‘OK, George can only pick so many, you know, I’ll see what’s left.”