The Devils

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Released 1971

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The Devils

Movie Summary

Director:
Ken Russell
Released:
1971
Rating:
NC-17

The Devils, based on the play by John Whiting and a non-fiction book book by Aldous Huxley, is an historically accurate, intensely graphic account of a notorious witchcraft case in 17th Century France. This tale of sexual hysteria (masquerading as demonic possession) in an Ursuline convent remains the most controversial film in the career of director Ken Russell (no small claim), and is emphatically not for the squeamish. Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed star.

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    Vanessa Redgrave

    Vanessa Redgrave

    Sister Jeanne des Anges

    Oliver Reed

    Oliver Reed

    Fr. Urbain Grandier

    Dudley Sutton

    Dudley Sutton

    Baron de Laubardemont

    Max Adrian

    Max Adrian

    Ibert

    Gemma Jones

    Gemma Jones

    Madeleine

    Georgina Hale

    Georgina Hale

    Philippe Trincant

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • Soon after the film's London opening in the summer of 1971, director Ken Russell agreed to appear on a live television news programme to debate the merits of the film with one of its severest critics, Alexander Walker, the film reviewer of the London Evening Standard newspaper. The conversation quickly became very personal, and Russell, losing his temper, produced from his pocket a rolled-up edition of Walker's newspaper and proceeded to hit him over the head with it, shouting abuse at him as he did so. Russell later claimed that he and Walker were personal enemies long before he had made the film - although, less than two years earlier, Walker had loudly praised Russell's film Women In Love, calling it the best film of 1969.

      • The film derives from Aldous Huxley's non-fiction book, The Devils Of Loudun, but is more directly based on John Whiting's stage adaptation of the book, which had been produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company some ten years earlier. In the original stage production, Dorothy Tutin played Sister Jeanne and Richard Johnson played Fr. Grandier. Other actors in the play included Ian Holm, Patrick Wymark, Diana Rigg and Max Adrian (who played a quite different role in the film).

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    • orswel USER EDITOR

      User Score: 63

    More Info About This Movie

    Categories

    Drama, Horror, Suspense

    Themes

    Supernatural, B-Movie Horror, Satanic, Religion & Spirituality, Historical