IMDb > The Devils (1971)
The Devils
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The Devils (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ken Russell (screenplay)
John Whiting (based on the play by)
View company contact information for The Devils on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 July 1971 (USA) See more »
The Devils is not a film for everyone . . . See more »
In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A brilliant, disturbing film See more (102 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Vanessa Redgrave ... Sister Jeanne

Oliver Reed ... Urbain Grandier

Dudley Sutton ... Baron De Laubardemont

Max Adrian ... Ibert

Gemma Jones ... Madeleine

Murray Melvin ... Mignon

Michael Gothard ... Father Barre

Georgina Hale ... Philippe

Brian Murphy ... Adam
Christopher Logue ... Cardinal Richelieu

Graham Armitage ... Louis XIII

John Woodvine ... Trincant

Andrew Faulds ... Rangier

Kenneth Colley ... Legrand

Judith Paris ... Sister Judith
Catherine Willmer ... Sister Catherine
Iza Teller ... Sister Iza
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pat Ashton ... Gossiping woman (uncredited)
Imogen Claire ... Nun (uncredited)
Barbie Denham ... Vestal Virgin (uncredited)
Selina Gilbert ... Nun (uncredited)
Cheryl Grunwald ... Vestal Virgin (uncredited)
Doremy Vernon ... Nun (uncredited)

Directed by
Ken Russell 
Writing credits
Ken Russell (screenplay)

John Whiting (based on the play by)

Aldous Huxley (novel "The Devils of Loudon")

Produced by
Roy Baird .... associate producer
Ken Russell .... producer
Robert H. Solo .... producer
Original Music by
Peter Maxwell Davies 
Cinematography by
David Watkin 
Film Editing by
Michael Bradsell 
Production Design by
Derek Jarman 
Art Direction by
Robert Cartwright 
Costume Design by
Shirley Russell 
Makeup Department
Ramon Gow .... hair stylist
Charles E. Parker .... makeup artist
Ross Carver .... assistant hairdresser (uncredited)
Production Management
Graham Ford .... unit manager
Neville C. Thompson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ted Morley .... assistant director
Nicolas Hippisley-Coxe .... second second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Terry Apsey .... construction manager
George Ball .... property manager
Derek Jarman .... set designer
Alan Tomkins .... assistant art director
Ian Whittaker .... set dresser
Leslie Dilley .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Bryn Siddall .... property buyer (uncredited)
Tim Wake .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gordon K. McCallum .... sound mixer
Terry Rawlings .... dubbing editor
Brian Simmons .... sound recordist
Rowland Fowles .... boom operator (uncredited)
John Hayward .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
John Richardson .... special effects
Peter Brayham .... stunts (uncredited)
Peter Diamond .... stunts (uncredited)
Harry Fielder .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Ewens .... assistant camera
John Swan .... electrical supervisor
Ronnie Taylor .... camera operator
Robin Browne .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tiny Nicholls .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Stuart Baird .... assistant editor
Music Department
Peter Maxwell Davies .... conductor
David Munrow .... period music arranger and director
Other crew
Harry Benn .... production controller
Terry Gilbert .... choreographer
Ann Skinner .... continuity
Geoff Freeman .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ken Russell's Film of The Devils" - UK (long title)
"The Devils of Loudun" -
"Los demonios" - Colombia (imdb display title), Mexico (imdb display title), Spain (imdb display title)
"Djävlarna" - Finland (Swedish title) (informal title), Sweden
"Los diablos" - Colombia (alternative title), Mexico (alternative title)
"Дьяволы" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Дяволите от Лудон" - Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)
"Ördögök" - Hungary (imdb display title)
"De bezetenen" - Belgium (Flemish title) (imdb display title)
"Diably" - Poland (imdb display title)
"Die Teufel" - West Germany
"Djævlene" - Denmark
"I diavoli" - Italy
"Les diables" - France
"Los Demonios" - Chile (censored version)
"Nikutai no Akuma" - Japan (imdb display title)
"Oi daimonismenes" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Os Demônios" - Brazil (imdb display title)
"Os diabos" - Portugal (imdb display title)
"Paholaiset" - Finland (imdb display title)
See more »
111 min | UK:117 min (restored version)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Australia:M (video rating) | Brazil:18 | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:R (Ontario) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Chile:(Banned) (original rating) | Finland:K-18 (2002) (self applied) | Finland:(Banned) (1985) (video release) | Finland:(Banned) (1971) (theatrical release) | France:16 | Ireland:(Banned) | Italy:VM18 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) | New Zealand:R18 (re-rating on appeal) (1972) | New Zealand:(Banned) (original rating) (1971) | Norway:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X | UK:18 (re-rating) (1988) | USA:R (certificate #434) (edited for re-rating) | USA:X (original rating) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Max Adrian (Ibert) had played Father Barré in a BBC Radio adaptation of The Devils in 1963.See more »
Continuity: 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.See more »
Louis XIII:[shooting a prisoner dressed as a bird] Bye bye, blackbird!See more »
Bourrée d'AvignonSee more »


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46 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
A brilliant, disturbing film, 30 November 1999
Author: Eunice Muir ( from Lake Helen, Florida

I can never understand why "The Devils", which was such a major film and caused such controversy, never became a cult classic being shown every other week on cable TV. This film totally annihilates all the trashy "straight-to-video" horror films. Based on true events in 17th century France, this film is one of the most horrifying tales of man's intolerance: religious and sexual.

The tale begins with an outbreak of the plague, which the folk of the middle ages, with typical misunderstanding of the real cause, rat fleas, believed that someone was to blame. Who more convenient a scapegoat than Father Grandier, played by the notorious Oliver Reed an actor who ended his rambunctious life by dropping dead in a bar. The sexual appeal of Fr. Grandier drives the supposedly celibate clergy into a frenzy of jealousy. A group of nuns, led by a noblewoman who has been forced into the convent due to her physical deformity and therefore, lack of marriageable options, joins in the hysteria which is not satisfied until Fr. Grandier is burned at the stake.

Although set in France in the middle ages, a lot of the hysteria can be seen today, in our more enlightened times. Just witness the periodic witch hunts in the United States, such as the furore over the alleged Satanic cults running day care centers, not to mention the reds under the beds hysteria of the 50's.

This was one of Ken Russell's most controversial films, and definitely very 70's in its style, after all, we had Mick Jagger and Twiggy perfectly cast as decadent French nobility, and it has taken 20+ years to see how right on the mark he was.

Although Russell was the hottest thing in cinema for a while, he faded like a discarded fashion as every wannabe copied his style, but without being able to understand what is was that set Ken Russell apart. Unfortunately Russell did not help his reputation by becoming more and more the icon of bad taste. Eventually he became a parody and the fickle who had formally worshipped his genius could not disassociate themselves quickly enough.

Like Orson Welles, Ken Russell's brilliance will not be realized until a new generation discovers his work. I recommend "The Devils" along with "The Music Lovers" as his best work.

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