The Devils

Watch The Devils

"Hell holds no surprises for them."
  • X
  • 1971
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 7.8  (18,425)
  • 49

The Devils, released in 1971, is a British historical drama film that is set in France during the 17th century. The movie was directed by Ken Russell and written by John Whiting. The film stars Vanessa Redgrave as Sister Jeanne, a nun, and Oliver Reed as Father Grandier, a local priest. Dudley Sutton plays the role of Baron de Laubardemont, a judge who is sent by Cardinal Richelieu to investigate the situation at Loudun.

The story is based on the true events that took place in the French town of Loudun in 1634. The town was plagued by a series of bizarre events, including possessions and exorcisms, which led to the accusation of Father Grandier, who was a popular figure in the town, of sorcery and pact with the devil.

The movie starts with Father Grandier, the charismatic priest of Loudun, who is involved in a love affair with a beautiful woman, Madeline De Brou. The affair is known to many, including the jealous nuns of the local convent. Sister Jeanne is one of them, and she develops an obsessive passion for Father Grandier, which ultimately leads to her madness.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Richelieu, the chief advisor of King Louis XIII, is attempting to extend his reach into Loudun. He sends Baron de Laubardemont to investigate the situation and bring the town under his control. The Baron, a cold and ruthless man, is determined to find evidence of Father Grandier's guilt, having already decided he is guilty.

The nuns of the convent, led by Sister Jeanne, accuse Father Grandier of making a pact with the devil, causing the strange occurrences at the convent. The accusations are supported by the evidence of a group of exorcists, who claim to have seen the devil in the form of Father Grandier. At the same time, Richelieu orders a trial by the Inquisition, which quickly becomes a farce of justice, as witnesses are forced to confess to crimes they never committed.

The film is an intense and graphic depiction of the corruption of religious authority, political manipulation, and sexual repression. The movie portrays the power struggle of the church, the state, and the people, and the consequences of colliding values and interests.

The Devils is a visually striking film, with distinctive sets and costumes that transport the viewer into the world of 17th-century France. The film features a powerful musical score, written by composer Peter Maxwell Davies.

The movie was controversial at the time of its release and faced strong opposition from the Catholic Church due to its explicit scenes and its portrayal of religious figures in a negative light. The film was banned in several countries, heavily edited in others, and was not widely released in its entirety until 2012.

In conclusion, The Devils is a compelling and thought-provoking film that depicts a true story of power, corruption, and fanaticism that took place during the period of religious turmoil and change in Europe. The movie leaves a lasting impression on the viewer, as it explores the darkest aspects of human nature and the limits of faith, sex, and ideology.

The Devils
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (18,425)
  • Metascore