10 Fascinating Facts about Stephen King’s Carrie – The Original Movie

Stephen King's Carrie, Stephen King Movies, Carrie, Sissy Spacek

"It was bad, Mama. They laughed at me. Hold me, Mama. Please hold me."

10 Things you never knew about the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie.

Stephen King’s Carrie was the author’s first full-length novel to be published, in 1974, and then, in 1976, it became the first Stephen King book to be adapted to the big screen. The Carrie Movie starred Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and Piper Laurie, and it was directed by Brian De Palma. Of course, there has since been the 2013 movie remake of Carrie, which wasn’t a huge success.  The Original Carrie movie, however, received two academy nominations and was called an "absolutely spellbinding horror movie". Here are ten fascinating facts about the original Stephen King’s Carrie movie that you may not have known.

Stephen King's Carrie, Stephen King Movies, Carrie, Sissy Spacek1. Stephen King was only paid $2,500 for the film rights to Carrie

Stephen King was still a bit of a newcomer back in 1976, so he was only paid a paltry $2,500 for the film rights to Carrie. King says that he has no regrets about that, because he felt lucky at the time to have his first ever book turned into a movie. The original Carrie movie went on to earn $33.8 million at the box office.

2. Sissy Spacek wasn’t Brian De Palma’s first choice to play Carrie

Brian De Palma had pretty much made his mind up on who the actress would be that would play Carrie, and it wasn’t Sissy Spacek. The director only auditioned Spacek out of courtesy to the art director of Carrie, Jack Fisk, who was Spacek’s husband.  Spacek turned up for the audition wearing an old dress that she had worn when she was in grade school and she had her hair slicked down with petroleum jelly. It worked, because Spacek was told that very same day that she had got the part.

3. They spelled Stephen King’s name wrong on the trailer for Carrie

Carrie may have been Stephen Kings first book and the first movie adaptation of his work, but you’d think they could have spelt his name right! In this, the original trailer for the 1976 Carrie movie, the author is credited as Steven King, rather than Stephen King.

4. Sissy Spacek kept her distance from the rest of the cast

Sissy Spacek deliberately kept her distance from the rest of the cast during the shooting of Carrie, because she wanted to feel the alienation that her character felt. In the first few days of filming, Spacek apologised to the rest of the cast, explained why she behaving the way that she was behaving, and said that she’d join the party after filming had been completed.

Stephen King's Carrie, Stephen King Movies, Carrie, John Travolta5. Carrie was John Travolta’s first film

Carrie was John Travolta’s big screen debut. He played Billy Nolan, the boy behind the infamous bucket of pig’s blood prank at the prom.

6. The Prom scene took two weeks to film

The prom scene in Carrie took over two weeks to complete and Sissy Spacek kept the fake blood on her throughout the shooting so that there would be no continuity mistakes.  At one stage, she even kept the bloodied dress on for three days running, including in bed. The fake pig’s blood was made out of a mixture of Karo Syrup and red food colouring.

7. Hints of Psycho

The name of the high school that Carrie attends is Bates High School, as in Norman Bates. The same screeching four note violin chord from the 1960 film Psycho is also heard on numerous occasions in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie.

Stephen King's Carrie, Stephen King Movies, Carrie, Piper Laurie8. Piper Laurie thought her character was for laughs

The actress Piper Laurie, who played Carries mother Margaret White, thought at first that the Carrie movie must be a black comedy, because her character of the crazed religious fanatic was so over the top. Even Brian De Palma’s assurance that it was a horror movie they were making didn’t stop Piper Laurie bursting out in laughter between takes at some the lines she had to speak.

9. The hand of Carrie was Sissy Spacek’s

When Carrie’s hand shoots out of the grave at the end of Carrie, it was the hand of Sissy Spacek that you see.  Brian De Palma had wanted to use a stuntwoman for the scene, but Sissy Spacek insisted on doing it herself and she got a few cuts and bruises doing it too. Brian De Palma got the idea for the scene from the 1972 film Deliverance.

10. Stephen King liked the original Carrie movie

When Stephen King heard that a remake of Carrie was going to be made, he was surprised. He said that, while the 1976 Carrie may not have been a “Casablanca”, it was still a good horror film. He even went so far as to say the movie was better than the book.