In seventeenth-century France, a promiscuous and divisive local priest, Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed), uses his powers to protect the city of Loudun from destruction at the hands of the establishment. Soon he stands accused of the demonic possession of Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave), whose erotic obsession with him fuels the hysterical fervour that sweeps through the convent.
With its bold and brilliant direction by Ken Russell, magnificent performances by Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, exquisite Derek Jarman sets and sublimely dissonant score by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, The Devils stands as a profound and sincere commentary on religious hysteria, political persecution and the corrupt marriage of church and state.
DVD premiere presentation of the original UK X certificate version
Audio commentary with Ken Russell, Mark Kermode, Mike Bradsell and Paul Joyce
Hell on Earth (Paul Joyce, 2002, 48 mins): documentary exploring the film's production and the controversy surrounding its original release
Director of the Devils (1971, 21 min): documentary featuring candid Ken Russell interviews and unique footage of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies recording his celebrated film score
Original on-set footage with commentary by editor Mike Bradsell
Amelia and the Angel (Ken Russell, 1958, 30 mins): Ken Russell's short film, a delightful mix of religious allegory and magical fantasy
Original UK trailer
Original US trailer
Fully illustrated booklet featuring new essays and notes from Mark Kermode, Craig Lapper (BBFC), Sam Ashby, and others