Customer Review

77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's be Positive Here!, 22 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Devils (Special Edition) [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
OK, so it's not the restored 2004 director's cut in this release, or a blu-ray edition, but at least we have a 2.40:1 ratio great picture and sound quality of the 111 minute UK theatrical version - this is definitely something to celebrate. After all, only a substandard botch of the American R-rated (104 minute) version with badly inserted deleted scenes previously made a questionable release onto the DVD market, AND only in 1.78:1 ratio. Plus the inclusion of a commentary and the brilliant 'Hell on Earth' doc are definitely extras worth getting, let alone the rest that come in this package.

'The Devils' is an absolutely outstanding film, definitely one of Russell's best, and even in this theatrical version is an extremely powerful and disturbing piece of work. It is to be hoped that a blu-ray director's cut will see the light of day in the not too distant future. Ken was a British treasure and is sadly missed - thank god a commentary with Mark Kermode was recorded before his death - so Warner would be advised to show him some respect and release a full uncut blu-ray version without any more messing about.

So well done, I say, to the BFI - I for one am very thrilled to get my hands on this.

Still on the wishlist, besides a full blu-ray release of The Devils: A widescreen remaster of 'The Rainbow', UK releases of 'The Boyfriend' and 'Savage Messiah' (though the Warner Archives releases in the US are very good), a special director's cut edition of 'Altered States' with decent extras, and availability of 'Whore' and 'Salome's Last Dance'!!!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2011 18:12:26 GMT
Just to make things absolutely clear, the film runs 107 minutes because of PAL speedup - if this version was shown in cinemas, it would be 111 minutes.

I mention this because to the untrained eye the BFI version appears to be shorter than the version on iTunes, which is seriously misleading: iTunes isn't affected by PAL speedup, so that version is actually three minutes shorter than the BFI edition in terms of raw footage, and has been further censored by having some of the more graphic shots replaced by less inflammatory material.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2011 20:20:02 GMT
Caramba! says:
Acknowledged - I didn't quote the theatrical running times as I thought that would have been confusing seeing as the Amazon spec is 107.

The itunes version is the US heavily cut R-rated version.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2011 21:20:31 GMT
I'm a bit intrigued as Amazon gives all the specifications while the BFI's own website says they haven't been finalised. The BFI only describe this release as 'the longest version of the film ever to be released on DVD'. (Surely a little disingenuous!)

So, I remain intrigued and hopeful as to what might emerge - after all the original X-certificate version has surely been surplanted.

I don't know.... but my fingers are crossed (that should keep some devils at bay).

At least Ken knew this masterpiece was finally to be released - just a shame he never got to see the day.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2011 21:26:34 GMT
This is standard practice - Amazon needs specs pretty early in order to advertise preorders, and they're usually sent out before the content has been absolutely finalised. So there sometimes are minor changes.

But I understand that the Warner-supplied Digibeta master copy is indeed of the original British cinema version, and that that's the only version that the BFI has the right to distribute. So while there may be changes to some of the extras, unless Warner Bros changes their minds between now and March (or, more realistically, over the next few weeks, if not days), it's probably fairly unlikely that the main feature will be any different to what has been advertised.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2011 20:33:31 GMT
Caramba! says:
It is to be seen whether or not the sad passing of Ken and all the vociferous comments from angry fans across the web will have any effect on Warner's decision about the release of the film.

I have a horrible feeling that they will allow the BFI release to go ahead as is, and then come in a few months later with their own deluxe director's cut and blu-ray release, to capitalise as much as they can......

Meanwhile, I believe the BFI should be supported in their release, and, if nothing else, good sales of this version might prompt a release of more materials as a result.

Posted on 27 Mar 2012 01:13:14 BDT
Groupzero says:
The American version of the film wasn't R-rated. I know the writers in the booklet maintain this repeatedly, but they're wrong. The original U.S. release was in fact rated X. It WAS cut further than the UK version, but carried an X rating from the MPAA nonetheless. In the late 70s the film was re-rated as an R after two more minutes were cut so that the film could be aired on cable television. (MIDNIGHT COWBOY and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE were similarly re-rated around this time). But the original rating in the U.S. was indeed an X.
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