This introductory chapter provides an overview of Brian De Palma's tenth feature-length film, Carrie (1976), which was adapted for the screen by Lawrence D. Cohen from Stephen King's 1974 debut novel. Produced by Paul Monash and released by United Artists, the film starred Sissy Spacek in the title role alongside Piper Laurie as her mother, Margaret White. Carrie White is a richly complex character that engenders a range of contrasting emotions in the viewer. Much like the conflicted personality of its central character, Carrie is a film with more than one identity and stands out even within the dominant American horror films of the 1970s. The visual romanticism, lyricism, and moments of humour that De Palma used to counteract the movie's more horrifying moments has seen it cited in academic and critical circles as an influence on both the cycle of teen-oriented horror movies and the gross-out teen comedies that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This book details Carrie's journey from the page to the big screen, a journey that has seen it become a highly important part of its director's oeuvre and a classic of horror cinema.
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