The Devils (1971)

The Devils




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The Devils was the Ken Russell film version of the controversial play by John Whiting. The story, based on Aldous Huxley's The Devils of Loudun, concerns controversial 17th century French priest Urbain Grandier, whose radical political and religious notions and profligate sex life earn him many enemies. When a group of nuns appears to have been "bewitched" by Grandier, his rivals feed on the resulting mass hysteria, using this incident as an excuse to have the priest arrested. Refusing to … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:


as Sister Jeanne

as Urbain Grandier

as Baron de Laubardemon...

as Madeleine

as Ibert

as Mignon

as Father Barre

as Philippe

as Cardinal Richelieu

as Louis XIII

as Trincant

as Legrand

as Sister Judith

as Sister Catherine
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Devils

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Critic Reviews for The Devils

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

Reed carries the film with an admirably restrained portrayal of the doomed priest. Redgrave, on screen only sporadically, is stunning as the salacious sister.

Full Review… | August 14, 2008
Top Critic

No matter how thickly Russell piles on the masturbating nuns, tortured priests and dissolute dauphins, there's no getting round the fact that it's all more redolent of a camp revue than a cathartic vision.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's a see-through movie composed of a lot of clanking, silly, melodramatic effects that, like rib-tickling, exhaust you without providing particular pleasure, to say nothing of enlightenment.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

It's like a David Lean remake of Pink Flamingos.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Bruegel couldn't have captured the insanity better.

Full Review… | March 12, 2015
Reeling Reviews

Whatever the moral perspective, it keeps you gripped right to the end.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Devils


One of my all time favorite movies, sadly missing a proper DVD release with the full uncut version to this day. Seems the movie keeps hitting nerves after 40 years. Oliver Reed gives the performance of a lifetime.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer


Here's a film that deserves a far more detailed write-up than I am going to give it. Easily the best film I saw last year. Stellar performances keep your eyes positively glued to the screen. Wild, fiery subject matter for those willing to open themselves up to it. Well worth seeking out the original cut of the film, with the "Rape of Christ" sequence in it. This almost got an official DVD release a while back but someone applied the brakes. Lets hope cooler heads prevail and let this amazing film be seen by a greater audience.

Steve K

Super Reviewer


There have been quite a few movies on false accusations of witchcraft, but the highly extra-ordinary execution of the subject matter herein makes this one, one devil of a film.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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