Monday, September 22, 2008

Linda Blair-Born Innocent

After THE EXORCIST, Linda Blair's first theatrical film was AIRPORT 1975 in which she was lost in an all-star cast while waiting for a kidney transplant and having Helen Reddy serenade her (as a nun). Perhaps not a good career choice. Our favorite lady fared a bit better on television not long afterwards when she starred in BORN INNOCENT, a tough and controversial TV-movie that presented what was arguably (at age 15 I believe) her strongest performance ever. Sadly a bit of a punchline now due to the often excised scene of the teenage delinquent Linda being violated by a broom handle by other inmates in her reform school, that scene was nightmarishly handled and in its own way scarier than anything in THE EXORCIST. Linda followed it up with SARAH T-PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE ALCOHOLIC, another strong TV film co-starring Mark Hamill (pre-STAR WARS). Eventually, she was replaced as the TV teenage "issues" girl by (of all people) Eve Plumb (in DAWN-PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY) and Linda returned to the big screen in vehicles of ever-lessening quality such as ROLLERBOOGIE, WILDHORSE HANK and EXORCIST 2 (which must have seemed like a good idea at the time but...) Still, for those who question whether Linda legitimately deserved the Oscar nomination for THE EXORCIST, look no further than her performance in BORN INNOCENT. No Mercedes MacCambridge there. This girl could ACT!


  1. Anonymous12:03 AM

    No, the movie that probably seemed like a good idea at the time was 'Repossessed', the awful 'Naked Gun' wannabe starring Leslie Nielsen as a priest trying to exorcise Linda Blair who as an adult became... well, the title says it all...

  2. Anonymous4:08 PM

    Steve, are you implying Mercedes McCambridge couldn't act?? She was one of the strongest radio actresses, ever!!

  3. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Greetings from Brazil!
    I think Linda Blair was (and is) qa great actress...It's a shame she doesn't act anymore, as in the past, in these 'controversial' films. For me, Born Innocent is a shocking, sad, strong movie; she was fantastic! I wish I had a teacher like "Barbara Clark" (was that the name of that teacher, played by Joanna Miles?)...The housemother, 'Emma Lasko', was so incompetent; the terrible things (the riot in the end of the movie, and others) used to happen when she was in (what a coincidence!). The word that comes on my mind, about the film: INJUSTICE. She shoudn't be sent to that reform school; the origin of the problem (s) was IN HER HOME...And here in Brazil it's very common to see these things happening (well, I think these things are EVERYWHERE!).
    * I noticed three goofs in the film:
    - When Janet was sent to the isolation (poor her!), how could Miss Lasko know that she was the reason of the fight?
    - When Chris 'threw' Lasko on the cough about the shampoo, that was a black woman seweing. This woman stood up, quickly. After, when shows the other girls coming to see what was happening, this woman stands up again...
    - the lampshade that Denny used to hit Lasko was in the table after she took it...

    As it is said in Portuguese:
    - "Fala Sério!" (speak serious!).

    Rodrigo Rosa.