The Devils

United Kingdom, 1971

Film
Image via TMDb

This erotic adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s “The Devils of Loudon” is based on a 17th Century incident of diabolical possession which affected a religious community in France. For Russell the foundations of religious hysteria is in the repressed sexuality, and the feudal heirarchy, of Catholic monastic life. Oliver Reed plays Father Grandier who refuses to collborate with the agents of Louis XIII who are attempting to challenge the power of the traditional clerical nobility. When Grandier is accused of sorcery by the Mother Superior of the Convent in Loudon (Vanessa Redgrave) a show-trial is commenced in which the Convent is exorcised of its “demons”. Russell, whose richly hallucinatory Catholic imagination has always been under-rated by Anglo-saxon critics, is able to give expression to both the pleasure and danger involved in sexuality. This fascinating film, anchored by the sharp spiritual insight of Huxley’s original novel, is one of the director’s best films.

Credits

production company

Warner Bros Pictures

co-producer

Ken Russell

Robert H Solo

director
Duration

01:44:00:00

Production places
United Kingdom
Production dates
1971

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

304286

Language

English

Audience classification

MA

Subject categories

Adaptations

Feature films

Feature films → Feature films - Great Britain

Literature → English literature - Film and video adaptations

Magic, Occult & Supernatural → Demoniac possession

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Colour

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/83095--the-devils/ |title=The Devils |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=28 October 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}