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The Devils (1971)

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.

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(screenplay), (based on the play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Baron De Laubardemont
Max Adrian ...
Ibert
...
Madeleine
...
Mignon
...
Father Barre
...
Philippe
...
Adam
Christopher Logue ...
...
...
Trincant
...
Rangier
...
Legrand
...
Sister Judith
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Storyline

Cardinal Richelieu and his power-hungry entourage seek to take control of seventeenth-century France, but need to destroy Father Grandier - the priest who runs the fortified town that prevents them from exerting total control. So they seek to destroy him by setting him up as a warlock in control of a devil-possessed nunnery, the mother superior of which is sexually obsessed by him. A mad witch-hunter is brought in to gather evidence against the priest, ready for the big trial. Written by Niz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never had there been exorcisms like this. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 July 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Devils of Loudun  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While preparing for the climactic demolition of the city walls, a technician mistook a signal from Ken Russell and detonated the explosives before the cameras were rolling. A large chunk of the set had to be rebuilt. However, a documentary on the second disk of the 2012 DVD release of the film contradicts this story. In this documentary, Russell states that it was himself that pressed the button which detonated the explosives without communicating this to the camera team. It is also stated that the scene had to be re-shot a month later as a consequence the cameras missing the destruction of the walls. See more »

Goofs

Judith Paris's character is referred to as Sister Agnes in the film but listed as Sister Judith in the credits. See more »

Quotes

Cardinal Richelieu: A most original conception, your Majesty, The Birth of Venus. I pray I may assist you in the birth of a new France, where Church and State are one.
[He holds out his hand to Louis, who kisses his ring]
Cardinal Richelieu: [intoning] And may the Protestant be driven from our land...
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Connections

Referenced in Horror Business (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bourrée d'Avignon
from Secretum musarum (1615)
Music by Nicolas Vallet.
Played as the king's dance in the opening.
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User Reviews

 
Shocking, beautifully elegant, a truly provocative masterpiece that induces raw emotions. 10/10
20 January 2003 | by (Brighton, England) – See all my reviews

Shocking, beautifully elegant, a truly provocative masterpiece that induces raw emotions. 10/10

Two years before 'The Exorcist' hits the screen, Ken Russell puts the Catholic Church in the spotlight by filming one of the most disturbing films of all times. Except from being a sheer technical and aesthetic masterpiece, 'The Devils' provokes as a film with its relentless sense of anarchy. Religious hysteria and illusions, the horror of human arrogance and depravity and the love that turns to cherishing that turns to hatred. It's hard to put it in words, one must simply watch it to understand the simple splendor of this film. For open-minded viewers only...


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