61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
A powerhouse of a film, but read on...,
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This review is from: The Devils (Special Edition) [DVD]  (DVD)Spoilers
I have it on good word that this release is as good as it will ever get for The Devils. Warners US would happily destroy the negatives and consign it to memory, such is their absolute and utter loathing of this film and for its content. I also have been informed that the 2004 director's cut will NEVER be released onto DVD outside of select cinema screenings. The fact that there is no Blu Ray edition of this release (and it's the future, apparently) should be seen as 'significant' - for some reason, people want this film to vanish.
However, as other reviewers point out, let's not get down here! The theatrical UK cut is a fine version (approved by the late Ken Russell) and even though the notorious 'rape of Christ' scene has been removed - and from the 'Hell on Earth' documentary as well, though it now has extra footage to compensate - The Devils is a powerhouse of a film about corruption, cruelty and sacrifice. Russell said that it was the only truly political film he made and it is a black as midnight, fiercely raging piece of work with an eye popping visual design by Derek Jarman.
The performances are all spectacular, but the story itself is the star. I can't think of a nastier or more disturbing tale of complete religious and political corruption. The scenes of torture and the death of Grandier are a difficult watch, but Reed's flawed priest triumphs - if only spiritually - in the face of insane hypocrisy and evil.
The Devils is a masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made by a true genius of cinema. Do not hesitate in purchasing a copy.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jan 2012 14:16:03 GMT
Mr. R. Williams says:
It also has a magnificent performance by Oliver Reed which demonstrates he was possibly the finest screen actor this country has ever produced
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2012 14:47:09 GMT
Ian Armer says:
Reed's greatest performance. Absolutely correct!
Posted on 26 Dec 2012 12:31:05 GMT
Alan D says:
I am dubious about the claim that "this release is as good as it will ever get". That may well be true in terms of technical quality, but some of the missing footage is included on the EuroCult DVD which is also available from Amazon. That DVD is a poor quality transfer but it is 111 minutes long and its sleeve states that it 'restores all of the cut footage that was removed when the film was released including the never before seen "Rape of Christ" sentence'. As far as I can see, we have a choice between a good-quality but incomplete version (the 'Special Edition') and a poor-quality but more complete version (the EuroCult release). I am also puzzled as to why the EuroCult version has attracted so few reviews on Amazon.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2013 22:25:13 GMT
Ian Armer says:
You can see the 'Rape of Christ' sequence on youtube - in all honesty, it adds very little. I don't miss it.
Posted on 1 Mar 2013 15:50:51 GMT
Paul S. Hyett says:
What date did you make your review 1st Dec 2011!!
All of what you say may well be true... back in 1971, but not 40 years later.
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