The Devils (1971)

“Don’t look at me! Look at your city! If your city is destroyed, your freedom is destroyed also… If you would remain free men, fight. Fight them or become their slaves.” – Grandier

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Aug 2019)

Brief Synopsis – After failing to reciprocate love to a nun, a French priest is accused of being a heretic and of practicing witchcraft which causes the entire city to run amok.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew nothing about beforehand and perhaps if I knew something, I might have skipped it altogether,.

This is a terrible film that makes so little sense and doesn’t even attempt to make it seem more palatable along the way.

The film lacks a real narrative and much of it is meant to be understood on an existential level which makes it even harder to care about any of the characters who are much too underdevleoped.

Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave are both great actors, but the parts they are given here are horrendous and they both play these character tin an over the top manner that makes us dislike them even more.

The story itself starts off crazy and just gets crazier as things move along.

I can understand how a film like this should gain a cult following, but that doesn’t change the fact that things are presented here in an absurd way that ultimately causes things to not be enjoyable to watch unless you prefer to watch movies that will torture you from start to finish.

Bottom Line – Horrible film that make so little sense. The film is too existential and lacks a true narrative with characters that we can care about. Reed and Redgrave both give over the top performances here and this entire movie just gets crazier and crazier as things move along.  I can understand how this can get a cult following, but even that can’t change the fact that this film is presented in a completely absurd way that makes it quite hard to enjoy anything that happens here.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When critic Alexander Walker published a unfavorable review of the film in the Evening Standard, he and Ken Russell were invited for a debate on a BBC talk show, where Russell confronted Walker with alleged inaccuracies in his writing. Unfortunately the footage has been lost and stories about what happened differ violently. However, both agree that the argument got so heated, that Russell took his folded copy of the issue of the newspaper with the contentious review and hit Walker on the head with it. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (1/10)


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4 thoughts on “The Devils (1971)

  1. Pingback: The Lamb’s September 2019 MOTM – My Rankings | MovieRob

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  3. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Director’s Chair: Ken Russell

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1971 | MovieRob

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