The Devils (1971)
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as Mother Joan of the Angels
as Urbain Grandier
as the Baron
as Madeleine De Brou
as Father Mignon
as Father Pierre Barre
as Philippe Trincant
as Cardinal Richelieu
as Louis XIII
as Louis Trincant
as Sister Judith
as Sister Catherine
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Critic Reviews for The Devils
All the events and persons depicted in The Devils are intended to be confused with actual events and persons. How do I know? Ken Russell tells me so.
Reed carries the film with an admirably restrained portrayal of the doomed priest. Redgrave, on screen only sporadically, is stunning as the salacious sister.
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.
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.
Audience Reviews for The Devils
For a while, the impression one gets is that Russell is not interested in discussing insanity (or its nature) but just to show it - bare naked - in a purely exploitative, surrealistic way; which is true, until everything moves so confidently towards an apotheotic display of mad depravity.
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.
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.
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