Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen, the film received two Academy Award nominations, one for Sissy Spacek in the title role and one for Piper Laurie as her abusive mother. The film featured numerous young actors – including Nancy Allen, William Katt, Amy Irving and John Travolta – whose careers escalated from the film. It also brought back to life the screen and television career of Laurie, who had not been active in show business since 1961. Carrie was the first of more than 100 film and television productions adapted from or based on the published works of Stephen King.
Carrie White is a shy 17-year old girl abused by her abusive and unstable, religiously fanatic mother Margaret, One day in gym class during the showers, Carrie experiences her first period. Having no prior knowledge of menstruation, Carrie believes she is bleeding to death. Her classmates, including Chris Hargensen and Sue Snell, react by throwing tampons and sanitary pads at her. The coach named Miss Collins intervenes. As Carrie becomes more frantic, Carrie breaks the light bulbs in the showers.
Miss Collins brings Carrie to the principal, explaining what had happened. The principal is unsure how to handle this, only knowing that menarce has never been known to start so late an age, and accepts Miss Collins' recommendation that Carrie be excused from gym for the following week. Carrie gets angry at the hand master for repeatedly calling her "Cassie Wright" instead of "Carrie White", but she keeps it bottled up, only shown as an ashtray on his desk flips onto the floor. While walking home, a younger boy verbally ridicules/abuses her from his bicycle. In rage, she stares at him, causing him to fall over. At home, Margaret receives a call from Mrs. Snell about the locker room incident. Margaret yells at Carrie for what happened, saying the "curse of blood" was divine punishment for Eve's disobedience of God's command in Eden, and locks Carrie into the closet to pray for forgiveness. Later that night, a miserable Carrie stares at her bedroom mirror until it shatters.
Miss Collins subjects Carrie's abusive tormentors to a week-long boot-camp-style detention, threatening them with suspension from school and the prom if they do not attend. Chris gets in trouble and slapped by Coach Collins and storms off the field in the middle of the first session and is banned from the prom. Feeling guilty for teasing Carrie, Sue convinces her boyfriend Tommy Ross to invite Carrie to the prom. Because of recent events, Carrie suspects that she may have telekinesis. While researching in the library, Tommy invites her to the prom, but she declines, fearing another trick. While Margaret is out proselytizing, Tommy visits the White residence and once again asks her out. Now feeling that Tommy is being truthful and gentlemanly, she accepts. The following day at school, Carrie tells Miss Collins that Tommy asked her to the prom. Miss Collins is overjoyed for Carrie, but privately suspects Sue is up to something. That night, Carrie tells her mother she is going to the prom, but Margaret declares the prom a sinful occasion. Carrie reveals her telekinesis, which causes Margaret to believe she is a witch. Carrie insists on going to the prom and Margaret reluctantly accepts.Chris tells her delinquent boyfriend Billy Nolan that she wants to humiliate Carrie again blaming her for her problems. She seduces him to help her with the help of oral sex. She then goes with Billy and other kids to a local farm, where Bill gets forced by Chris to kill a pig and drain its blood into a bucket. Billy then sneaks into the school and places the bucket above the school's stage. As Carrie prepares for the evening, her mother tries in vain to discourage her from going to the prom, claiming, "They're all going to laugh at you!"
Carrie's classmates are surprised to see her at the prom, and though most treat her neutrally several teenagers point and snicker, especially once she reveals her dress is homemade. She has a wonderful time, especially after a teacher comforts her with stories of her own prom, and enjoys dancing with Tommy, who gives her first kiss. Sue, who was unable to attend due to lacking a date, sneaks into the prom to ensure everything goes well for Carrie. To Carrie's surprise, she and Tommy are named prom king and queen; this is actually part of Chris and Billy's plan. Chris' friend Norma Watson replaced the ballots with fake ones for Tommy and Carrie. As the couple approaches the stage, Sue discovers that Chris is holding a rope attached to the bucket of pig's blood. Before Sue can warn Carrie, Miss Collins forces her out, believing she is there for mischief. After the crowns are placed on Carrie and Tommy's heads, Chris pulls the rope and the couple gets drenched in pig's blood. Chris and Billy escape satisfied from the gym, and an enraged Tommy gets knocked unconscious by the falling bucket. Carrie then hallucinates to see everyone in the room, including Miss Collins, laughing at her.
Carrie snaps into a cold rage, and telekinetically seals all the exits. She then manipulates a fire hose and uses it to blast the student body with water. The water makes contact with the electrical wiring and ignites a fire that consumes the gym. Nearly all of the students and faculty, Miss Collins included, are killed by Carrie while Chris and Billy witness the entire carnage from a high window. Carrie leaves the gym and heads home. Chris and Billy, seeing her as a scapegoat for what has happened again, attempt to run Carrie over with Billy's car, but Carrie telekinetically flips the car over and causes it to explode, killing both of them.
Carrie returns home and breaks down on Margaret's arms. Margaret confesses to Carrie that she and her husband believed that sex was a sin and abstained from it, until he got drunk one night and raped her, which she actually enjoyed. This led to Carrie being conceived and her husband leaving them. She embraces Carrie as the two recite the Lord's Prayer together in peace. In the middle of the prayer, Margaret stabs Carrie in the back. Carrie falls down the stairs and is cornered in the kitchen by a crazed Margaret, who believes that killing Carrie will bring peace. Carrie defends herself by crucifying her mother in the kitchen doorway with numerous blades and knives into her hands, chest and abdomen. Overcome with grief, Carrie unhooks her mother just as she causes the house to collapse on the two of them, before ultimately burning to the ground. Carrie's body and Margaret's body get shutting and shut down and burn in hell.
Some time later, Sue, the sole survivor of the prom, has a dream in which she visits the area where Carrie's house once stood. As she places flowers on the ground, Carrie's bloody hand shoots out of the ground and grabs her wrist. Sue wakes up screaming on her mother's arms.
- Sissy Spacek as Carrie White
- Piper Laurie as Margaret White
- Amy Irving as Sue Snell
- William Katt as Thomas "Tommy" Ross
- John Travolta as William Nolan, AKA Billy Nolan (Chris's Boyfriend)
- Nancy Allen as Christina Hargenson (Chris Hargensen)
- Betty Buckley as Ms. Collins
- P. J. Soles as Norma Watson/Tina Blake
- Edie McClurg as Helen Shyres
- Priscilla Pointer as Mrs. Snell
- Sydney Lassick as Mr. Fromm
- Stefan Gierasch as Principal Morton
- Michael Talbott as Freddy DeLois
- Rory Stevens as Kenny Garson
- Doug Cox as The Beak
- Harry Gold as George Dawson
- Noelle North as Frieda Jason
- Cameron De Palma as Tommy Erbter
- Katie Irving as Katie O' Shea
- Sharon Benson as Ruth Gogan
- Terry Bolo as Trudy Borne
- The Prom disaster was mentioned again in the 1999 sequel of The Rage: Carrie 2. 73 people died in the disaster.
- The high school was not rebuilt and the ruins were left intact. The entire area had been abandoned and the ruins had become some sort of memorial of that night, which no one wants to talk about.
- Carrie appears again in flashbacks during the sequel through Sue´s memories and it also introduces Rachel Lang (who is a parody of and copies Carrie), the half-sister of Carrie White.