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.
Composer and pianist Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey) attempts to overcome his hedonistic life-style while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas).
In 1926, the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female movie-goers 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 »
A restored version of The Devils was screened at The National Film Theatre in London on 23/11/04. Two scenes had been reinstated - the Rape of Christ which brought the orgy to a climax, and a scene near the end of the film when Jeanne masturbates with the bone that Laubardemont has given her as a souvenir. See more »
from Secretum musarum (1615)
Music by Nicolas Vallet.
Played as the king's dance in the opening. See more »
Genius; The greatest film of church corruption ever conceived.
Cited by director Alex Cox and critic Mark Kermode as one of the ten greatest achievements in cinema of all time, The Devils is based on a true story set in France in 1634 about the evils of the union of church and state controlled by power hungry, perverse men who prey on faith and fear, and one priest, Father Grandier, who tries to protect the liberties and walls of his city, Loudun.
This film was met with great controversy and opposition due to its contents and depictions of blasphemy. Hardly available today, the current VHS release suffers from trigger happy censors with no desire to leave the plot intact. The video translation is appalling, with only a fraction of the resolution and quality of film, and the fullscreen framing mauls at least 60% of the compositions. If you can attain this on widescreen on DVD, you are a lucky person. Unfortunately, as is reflected by another comment on this board, most people see the crappy version and judge the film based on that.
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