The word breathtaking was used at the beginning of this article to describe Carrie. Yet the one word expression does not begin to cover it, an expression that was used for the sake of brevity. However, Carrie is truly much more than breathtaking. It has influenced many other films, and is the template for any film about a teenage girl who is awakening into womanhood or being terrorized by the popular crowd at school. An innovative film in this regard, to be sure. Millions of things can still be said about Carrie, but maybe they are best left to interpretation.
It is because of Carrie that these many young stars are well known to the public, and the film even revitalized or expanded on the veteran careers of Piper Laurie and Betty Buckley. There is no doubt Brian DePalma had no idea the kind of effect this film would have on his career. He admitted in an interview with AMC Backstory that he read Stephen King’s novel, and thought it would just make a good movie. He never expected the film to be a hit in any way, shape, or form after it was released.
A movie that set the box office on fire not long after it was released in theaters on November 3, 1976. It was not released in the summer, but was a huge success regardless. A success that was released in the very same year as another supernatural thriller, The Omen and Alfred Hitchcock’s last film, Family Plot. It was also released in the years between Jaws and Star Wars, the two films that set the tone for the modern day summer blockbuster in the many years to come since.
Let alone did Stephen King believe his attempt a short story for a magazine would be his first hit novel. A novel that would not have been possible if his wife Tabitha had not fished out of the trash. For all anyone knows, he may still even be a teacher at Hampden Academy in his home state of Maine slaving away on novels in his spare time if he she had not made this daring rescue of his material. Material that made him a star and gave him his first best seller, and the rest, they say…is history.