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The Devils (BFI) in March

The BFI have announced the UK DVD release of Ken Russell's The Devils on 19th March 2012. Forty years ago, The Devils caused outrage amongst audiences and critics after one of the longest-running battles with the BBFC was resolved and the film finally opened in cinemas. Now recognised as a landmark in British film history, The Devils will be released by the BFI in the original UK X certificate version, accompanied by a wealth of new extra features and a 44-page illustrated booklet.

The Devils is based on John Whiting’s stage play and Aldous Huxley’s novel. In 17th century France, a promiscuous and divisive local priest, Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed), uses his powers to protect the city of Loudun from destruction by 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.

Features on this 2-Disc Special Edition include:

  • Region 2
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English Mono (320kbps) | English HOH subtitles
  • DVD premiere presentation of the original UK X certificate version
  • Newly filmed introduction with broadcaster and critic Mark Kermode (2012, 2 mins)
  • Audio commentary with Ken Russell, Mark Kermode, editor Michael 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 Devils (1971, 22 mins): 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 Michael Bradsell (2012, 8 mins)
  • On-stage Q&A with Ken Russell (2012, 13 mins): an excerpt from a conversation with Mark Kermode filmed at the National Film Theatre in 2004
  • Amelia and the Angel (1958, 26 mins): Ken Russell's second short, made by the BFI’s Experimental Film Fund; a delightful mix of religious allegory and magical fantasy
  • Original UK trailer
  • Original US trailer
  • 44-page illustrated booklet featuring new essays from Mark Kermode, Craig Lapper (BBFC), Michael Bradsell and Sam Ashby, plus film notes, biographies and credits

RRP is £19.99.

Also worth mentioning is a theatrical screening coming up...

The Devils screening at BFI Southbank on 19 March at 8.00pm
In memory of Ken Russell and to celebrate the release of The Devils on DVD, the 'Director’s Cut' of the film will be shown at BFI Southbank on Monday 19 March at 8.00pm in NFT1. A panel of experts and members of the cast and crew will take part in a discussion afterwards.

Trailer and artwork follow...