The Devils
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The Devils

111 min | UK:117 min (restored version)
Drama | History
IMDB rate:
Ken Russell
4 wins
Country: UK
Release Date: 1971-07-16
Filming Locations: Bamburgh Beach, Bamburgh, Northumberland, England, UK
Gross: SEK 1,200,949 (Sweden) Admissions 147,449 (Sweden)
Oliver Reed
Oliver Reed
The Devils
Vanessa Redgrave
Sister Jeanne
Dudley Sutton
Baron De Laubardemont
Max Adrian
Gemma Jones
Murray Melvin
Michael Gothard
Father Barre
Georgina Hale
Brian Murphy
Christopher Logue
Cardinal Richelieu
Graham Armitage
Louis XIII
John Woodvine
Andrew Faulds
Kenneth Colley
Judith Paris
Sister Judith
Catherine Willmer
Sister Catherine
Iza Teller
Sister Iza
Imogen Claire
Nun (uncredited)
Lee Fyles
Extra (uncredited)
Selina Gilbert
Nun (uncredited)
Alex 'Alien' Russell
Doremy Vernon
Nun (uncredited)
Did you know?
While preparing for the climactic demolition of the city walls, a technician mistook a signal from Ken Russell and detonated the explosives before the cameras were rolling. A large chunk of the set had to be rebuilt. However, a documentary on the second disk of the 2012 DVD release of the film contradicts this story. In this documentary, Russell states that it was himself that pressed the button which detonated the explosives without communicating this to the camera team. It is also stated that the scene had to be re-shot a month later as a consequence the cameras missing the destruction of the walls.
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A major sequence in which the nuns tear down and ravish a life-sized icon of Christ in an orgiastic frenzy was cut from the film and subsequently vanished. Film critic Mark Kermode discovered the footage many years later. Director Russell was keen to reinstate the scene but found that Warner Brothers were not interested in doing a director's cut. The footage can be seen in a documentary Kermode made about Russell and was subsequently included in an uncut DVD release.
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Ken Russell has said that he had to be gentle with Max Adrian because he was rather frail at the time.
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Judith Paris's character is referred to as Sister Agnes in the film but listed as Sister Judith in the credits.
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Early in the movie when Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) is seen grooming his hair. It is a close-up of him supposedly looking at a mirror in the upper left hand corner of the screen, behind the viewer. Obviously there is no mirror as he consistently misses combing the more egregiously messed up parts of his hair and instead repeatedly combs the portions that are already groomed. In fact when he is done, his hair is still messed up.
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Barre: [blessing the torture instruments with holy water] We humbly beg of thee almighty God, in thy goodness, bless these instuments thou has created and given to us for our sacred use...
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Grandier: [in bed with Philippe] Your father sends you here for instruction in Latin, and we must not deceive him.
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Louis XIII: Reverend Father, I notice that you don't speak to these creatures in Latin as is usual. Why is that?
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Photos from cast
Oliver Reed Cheryl Grunwald