The Devils

Ken Russell’s bold account of religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state.

In seventeenth century France, Father Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed), uses his powers to protect the city of Loudun from destruction at the hands of the establishment. Soon, he stands accused of the demonic possession of Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave), whose erotic obsession with him fuels the hysterical fervour that sweeps through the convent.

With its bold and brilliant direction, magnificent performances, exquisite Derek Jarman sets and sublimely dissonant score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, The Devils stands as a profound and sincere commentary on religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state.

Available on DVD for the first time, The Devils is presented in the original UK ‘X’ certificate version with a host of new and exciting extra features.

Special features

Fully illustrated booklet featuring new essays by Mark Kermode, Craig Lapper (BBFC) and editor Michael Bradsell, with original production materials and on-set photographs.

Disc one

  • DVD premiere presentation of the original UK ‘X’ certificate version.
  • Mark Kermode introduction (2012, 2 min): the broadcaster and critic’s newly filmed foreword to The Devils.
  • Audio commentary with Ken Russell, Mark Kermode, Michael Bradsell and Paul Joyce.
  • Original UK trailer.
  • Original US trailer.
  • Amelia and the Angel (Ken Russell, 1958, 26 min): a delightful mix of religious allegory and magical fantasy.

Disc two

  • Hell on Earth (Paul Joyce, 2002, 48 min): documentary exploring the film’s production and controversial history.
  • Director of Devils (1971, 22 min): documentary featuring candid Ken Russell interviews and unique footage of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies recording his score.
  • On-set footage with Michael Bradsell commentary (2012, 8 min).
  • On-stage Q&A with Ken Russell (2012, 13 min): the director in conversation with Mark Kermode at the NFT in 2004.

Product information

    • Certificate

      18

    • Colour

      Colour

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      107mins

    • Languages

      English

    • Subtitles

      English for the hard-of-hearing

    • Original aspect ratio

      2.35:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD940

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