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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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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:

Never had there been exorcisms like this. 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

Spike Milligan was originally cast as Baron De Laubardemont, but he was replaced when Ken Russell felt he could not properly convince in this straight dark role. 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

Barre: Sin can be caught as easily as the plague.
See more »

Alternate Versions

1) Warner Brothers removed the Rape of Christ before submitting the film to the British censors.
  • 2) The British censors removed a further 89 seconds. The resulting 111-minute cut is the longest existing version of The Devils.
  • 3) American censors cut two minutes and re-edited another two minutes to produce the R-rated version.
  • The full 111-minute version was released on video in 1997 in the Maverick Directors series. All other video releases used the heavily cut American version (even UK video releases) in a murky and grainy transfer that was an insult to the film's excellent cinematography and artwork.
See more »

Connections

References Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944) 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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