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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.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Ken Russell (screenplay), John Whiting (based on the play by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,024 ( 965)
4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Redgrave ... Sister Jeanne
Oliver Reed ... Urbain Grandier
Dudley Sutton ... Baron De Laubardemont
Max Adrian ... Ibert
Gemma Jones ... Madeleine
Murray Melvin ... Mignon
Michael Gothard ... Father Barre
Georgina Hale ... Philippe
Brian Murphy ... Adam
Christopher Logue Christopher Logue ... Cardinal Richelieu
Graham Armitage ... Louis XIII
John Woodvine ... Trincant
Andrew Faulds ... Rangier
Kenneth Colley ... Legrand
Judith Paris ... 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:

Hell holds no surprises for them. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

16 July 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devils of Loudun See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,000,000, 31 December 1971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Russo Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When critic Alexander Walker published a unfavorable review of the film in the Evening Standard, he and Ken Russell were invited for a debate on a BBC talk show, where Russell confronted Walker with alleged inaccuracies in his writing. Unfortunately the footage has been lost and stories about what happened differ violently. However, both agree that the argument got so heated, that Russell took his folded copy of the issue of the newspaper with the contentious review and hit Walker on the head with it. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie when Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) is seen grooming his hair. It is a close-up of him supposedly looking at a mirror in the upper left hand corner of the screen, behind the viewer. Obviously there is no mirror as he consistently misses combing the more egregiously messed up parts of his hair and instead repeatedly combs the portions that are already groomed. In fact when he is done, his hair is still messed up. See more »

Quotes

Grandier: Call me vain and proud, the greatest sinner ever to walk God's earth, but Satan's boy I could never be. I haven't the humility.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Still Tickin': The Return of A Clockwork Orange (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Shocking, beautifully elegant, a truly provocative masterpiece that induces raw emotions. 10/10
20 January 2003 | by vassl1See 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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