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.
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 »
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
(around 1h18:30) A few scenes after Grandier has been tortured by having a spike pierced through his tongue, he is shown praying despairingly, with the camera focused on his face as shot through the mask-contraption he had worn during this ordeal. The centre of focus is his mouth and tongue. As he speaks, it can be seen that there's no wound on his tongue. See more »
[about to burn Grandier at the stake]
Confess you are the Devil's servant! Renounce your master!
I am about to meet the God who is my witness! And I have spoken the truth!
[brandishing the flaming torch and moving closer to Grandier]
Confess! Confess! You have only a moment to live!
Only a moment, but then I face the just and fearful judgment that you too, reverend father, will soon be called.
[starting the fire]
May your body be consumed by eternal fire!
See more »
Before release, the British censors required the removal of a four-minute sequence showing a group of demented nuns raping a statue of Christ. This sequence was long thought to be lost until film critic Mark Kermode found the footage in a film-storage warehouse and included it in a documentary on 'Ken Russell' entitled "Hell on Earth", which premiered on UK television in November 2002. When shown, the sequence was two-and a half minutes long. See more »
This film never got the credit it deserved. It's both a savage socio-political critique in the vein of Millers "The Crucible" and a crazed excerise in Grand Guignol. Only Russell could have pulled this one out. Also features Oliver Reed in one his greatest roles. Father Grandier was Reeds Maximus.
53 of 75 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this