The challenge of creating the perfect ‘Carrie’ prom dress

Sissy Spacek (left) in the original “Carrie,” from 1976, and Chloë Grace Moretz in the remake, out Friday.
Sissy Spacek (left) in the original “Carrie,” from 1976, and Chloë Grace Moretz in the remake, out Friday.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (left); Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Screen Gems

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Prom dresses in movies are generally a character unto themselves. They arrive at a pivotal scene in a film and either serve as friend or foe to a high school girl facing the most important moment of her young life.

Looks have varied, from Molly Ringwald’s “Pretty in Pink” monstrosity to Emma Watson’s much prettier in pink frock in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” But perhaps the most memorable on-screen prom dress was worn by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s “Carrie.” The pale blush satin dress was simple and sweet; its most enduring characteristic was, of course, the pig’s blood that coated it after a cruel high school prank — one that sends the telekinetic prom queen into a rage.

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