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      The Devils

      R Released Jul 16, 1971 1h 49m Horror List
      70% Tomatometer 33 Reviews 88% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings In 17th-century France, Father Grandier (Oliver Reed) is a priest whose unorthodox views on sex and religion influence a passionate following of nuns, including the sexually obsessed Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave). When the power-hungry Cardinal Richelieu (Christopher Logue) realizes he must eliminate Grandier to gain control of France, Richelieu portrays Grandier as a satanist and spearheads a public outcry to destroy the once-loved priest's reputation. Read More Read Less
      The Devils

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      Grimly stylish, Ken Russell's baroque opus is both provocative and persuasive in its contention that the greatest blasphemy is the leveraging of faith for power.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Margaret Hinxman Daily Telegraph (UK) What I find such a pity is that Russell should apparently so distrust his own skill as a mesmerising story-teller. Mar 18, 2020 Full Review Derek Malcolm Guardian What is quite certain is that Russell has been true to himself as never before and that in doing so, he will irritate, excite, bore and outrage more film-goers than ever before. Mar 18, 2020 Full Review David Robinson Financial Times Even more than The Music Lovers, The Devils reveals an infantile compulsion to shock and repel, cost what it will. Mar 18, 2020 Full Review Justine Smith Vague Visages While it is easy to get swept away by the crass vulgarism of his work, Russell uses his confrontational style in order to get below the surface of normalized and accepted institutions of abuse and oppression. Nov 21, 2023 Full Review Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review More than its images of medieval exorcism or nuns writhing in demonic ecstasy, it is how Russell critiques and questions the institutions held dear by Western civilization that earned the film its notorious reputation and censorship. Rated: 4/4 Nov 17, 2022 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com The Devils is not the hysterical mess that causes critics to blow a gasket at the time, but a sobering and thoughtful depiction of the corrupt nature of power Rated: 5/5 Apr 3, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Wayne K Much like Passion Of The Christ, The Human Centipede & A Serbian Film, movies like The Devil’s have such a fearsome reputation that many people only ever associate them with the controversy they’ve garnered, overlook the merits they (often) have. Ken Russell is a big name in the British film industry, and this feels like a film he was really pouring himself into. It looks absolutely spectacular, with a blend of otherworldly sets, elaborate costumes and vivid colours, the visuals alone would be enough to recommend it. The story is somewhat based on historical events, admittedly dramatized, so we’re not sure what’s real and what’s not, but that feels like the point. With cases of witch hunting and demonic possession hysteria, its often impossible to separate fact from fiction and truth from legend. The film dives deep into issues of religious faith, sexual repression and the corrupting and destructive power of making accusations that can never be truly countered. Oliver Reed turns in one of the most intense performances of his career, which is saying something, and his commitment, the introspective dialogue and the fact we see him as both a hero and a villain at various times makes his character so incredibly compelling. I didn’t think it was as violent or as graphic as some have said, but when it came out over 50 years ago, I can imagine how appalled people must have been. It’s a difficult watch for sure, but it’s a film with a lot to say, and the imagery and the graphic nature always compliment each other. It’s certainly not to everyone’s tastes, and some of the deleted scenes are even more shocking than the original picture. But if you like your cinema a little less sanitised, The Devil’s is a film you really have to see to believe. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 06/13/24 Full Review Francesco F Crazy movie, extremely well acted, one of the best production design i've ever seen... Loved every minute of it! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/21/24 Full Review Bil D If interested in extra-morality views of human behavior, this could be an hour and more well spent. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/26/24 Full Review Alec B Wonderfully profane madness. Even if the film's capacity to shock has diminished, Russel's vision remains unparalleled. You still haven't seen anything like this. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/09/24 Full Review helder f A movie reminding us that religion and faith are far from perfect, and that a lot of evil can occur under the pretense of good and purity. Overall too campy. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/07/24 Full Review William D It's both bizarre and depraved, two traits that can often make up for a subpar story. Not in this case. I was surprised by how much money they spent on this. The sets and costumes are lavish and there seem to be hundreds of extras. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Devils

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      Cast & Crew

      78% 87% The Exorcist 100% 51% A Quiet Place in the Country 45% 36% The Oblong Box 40% 43% And Now the Screaming Starts 29% 29% The Dunwich Horror Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis In 17th-century France, Father Grandier (Oliver Reed) is a priest whose unorthodox views on sex and religion influence a passionate following of nuns, including the sexually obsessed Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave). When the power-hungry Cardinal Richelieu (Christopher Logue) realizes he must eliminate Grandier to gain control of France, Richelieu portrays Grandier as a satanist and spearheads a public outcry to destroy the once-loved priest's reputation.
      Director
      Ken Russell
      Producer
      Ken Russell, Robert H. Solo
      Screenwriter
      Aldous Huxley, Ken Russell, John Whiting
      Distributor
      Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Home Vídeo
      Production Co
      Warner Brothers, Russo Productions
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Horror
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 16, 1971, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Oct 13, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 49m
      Sound Mix
      Mono