7.9/10
11,148
104 user 111 critic

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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,555 ( 159)
4 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban
Women in Love (1969)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two best friends fall in love with a pair of women, but the relationships soon go in very different directions.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson
Lisztomania (1975)
Biography | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt attempts to overcome his hedonistic lifestyle while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Piano teacher Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky struggles against his homosexuality by marrying, but unfortunately he chooses a nymphomaniac whom he cannot satisfy.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian
Tommy (1975)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Gothic (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson
Valentino (1977)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In 1926 the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female moviegoers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When an archeologist uncovers a strange skull in foreign land, the residents of a nearby town begin to disappear, leading to further unexplainable occurrences.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day and prostitute by night, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, Bruce Davison
Edit

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
Edit

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:

The Devils is not a film for everyone . . . See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

16 July 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devils of Loudun See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film not only was banned in Italy but the government of that country threatened the actors Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed to condemn them to three years in prison if they stepped on their territory. 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: [blessing the torture instruments with holy water] We humbly beg of thee almighty God, in thy goodness, bless these instuments thou has created and given to us for our sacred use...
Grandier: Devils in pieces of wood now, Barre?
Barre: [pouring holy water on Grandier's legs] If they are not driven out, your devils might, by their infernal arts, prevent the torture being as excruciating as it should be. Then you would never confess, and your soul would be damned for eternity. Are you ready to confess?
Grandier: I have been ...
[...]
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

Version of Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Beautifully disturbing film
21 December 2000 | by bdpenningtonSee all my reviews

Ken Russell is one of those filmmakers whose work you can immediately identify. Whether your first was "Altered States" or (like me) "The Devils," you learn early on that if Mr. Russell's name is listed as director and/or writer, you can expect to be at least a little disturbed.

"The Devils" is, in my humble opinion, one of the best films ever made. I wish I hadnt been born so late because I can imagine how truly intense an experience it must've been to view "The Devils" in theater.

This film is the only film I've ever seen, regardless of genre, to take the viewer into the pit of hell and to hold her/him there unrelenting, uncompromising, and to make the viewer feel as s/he has actually experienced hell. I can only imagine how much difficulty Mr. Russell must have had when MPAA members saw this film. It's bleak, horrifying, shocking, disgusting and thoroughly delicious. Aldous Huxley (the author of the book on which this film was based) would have been proud to see that his true story of a Satanic Catholic church translated very well to film.

One last thing: I have never really been able to sit through the entire film since the first time I saw it. That is, odd as it sounds, extreme praise. What kind of hell would it be if I could sit comfortably?

Thank you, Ken Russell!


64 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 104 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed