The Devils (1971) What's the hold up?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Greg_M, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Anyone know what's going on with this Warner Bros. Title? I've heard so many different things:

    That Warner Bros won't release an X rated film
    That an uncensored version is floating around after it was broadcast on a British cable station.
    A documentary was put together with the cut sequences
    Warner Bros has mentioned in chats that's it's being considered
    The edited version was released on VHS here in the states

    Anyone know the story?
     
  2. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    In answer to the first one, no; they've already released two films that were previously X-rated but re-rated R on resubmission to the MPAA (The Director's Cut of The Wild Bunch and Luchino Visconti's The Damned), and I think The Devils would likely get re-rated on resubmission.
    Number two sounds like an urban legend.
    Number three I have no knowledge of.
    Number four: yes, it has been mentioned in chats.
    Number five is correct.

    I think it's more likely a case of getting around to releasing it, like Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
     
  3. Mike Heenan

    Mike Heenan Second Unit

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    #2 is not an urban legend... although even that version is missing one scene, that I think WAS filmed but left out... or it doesn't exist anymore, not sure.
     
  4. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    I keep hoping for a Ken Russel box from Warner with: THE DEVILS:SE; ALTERATED STATES: REMASTERED SE; THE BOY FRIEND; LISZTOMANIA; and SAVAGE MESSIAH.
     
  5. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    Channel 4 in the UK broadcast the uncut version of the film (minus the always missing "Rape of Christ" sequence which was cut from the film by the BBC censors before its original release). However, that network also broadcast a documentary about the history and censorship of the film which DID include the legendary "Rape of Christ" sequence, unseen for years by basically everybody but those original BBC censors.

    Later on, a somewhat gray market DVD label in the US took the UK broadast of the uncut film, re-inserted the Rape of Christ sequence where it belongs in the film, and issued their own DVD of the completely uncut version (albeit with a bit of aspect ratio problems). It's not perfect by any means, but it remains the best version available so far considering Warners US seemingly has no interest in doing anything with the film themselves.

    So #2 and #3 of the OP's post are basically correct.
     
  6. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The dubious DVD referenced above isn't completely uncut; it's still missing the sequence near the end where Vanessa Redgrave masturbates with the charred thigh bone of Grandier.
    But since that's shown in the bonus materials (I think the documentary Hell on Earth), at least you get to see it. The Rape of Christ sequence is also for some inexplicable reason presented in black and white, intercut with color footage of Grandier performing a mass in the woods. It's in color in the Hell on Earth documentary though.
     
  7. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    That's strange. It's completely in color on the copy I have.
     
  8. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I'd like to see a release of Russell's Clouds of Glory. This was a 2-part British TV film Russelll did on the Lake Poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.

    The first part-William and Dorothy focused on the poet Wordsworth's (David Warner) relationship with his sister (Felicity Kendal). The second part-Rime of the Ancient Mariner dealt with the poet Coleridge (David Hemmings) and his addiction to opiates.

    I have not seen this since catching it on Bravo back in the early 80's. My VCR was on the fritz, so I never managed to tape it. The Coleridge half was most popular, as the opium sequences seemed to fit everybody's idea of what Russell films should be like. However, I really preferred the Wordsworth half, mainly for David Warner's beautiful readings of some of Wordsworth's great poetry.

    There, that's my thread hijacking for the day....
     
  9. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    A friend of mine passed on some interesting information over at YouTUbe under "Devils, Reed" there are scenes from the BBC Documentary and the rape of Christ sequence is there too.
     
  10. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Warners have removed most of those DEVILS clips from YouTube. Maybe if we ask them nicely in the chat for a DVD... Mark Kermode hinted of a 2006 S.E around a year ago, but it obviously never came to fruition. Like many of us, I would love to buy a nicely restored disc of THE DEVILS.

    I think a DEVILS Special Edition would be a nice gift to director Russell after he suffered the multiple traumas of (a.) having his house burn down, and (b.) enduring two days in the Big Brother house. There's a trend visible there and a gag regarding quick exits to be created for anyone who wanted to put in the effort but I can't be bothered for the moment.
     
  11. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I watched some of the DVD extras on YouTube Saturday night, but you are right - Warner Bros. has now removed them from the youtube site. They were very intersting. I don't see what the big deal is, this is 2007 - almost anything goes

    The rape of Christ scene wasn't so bad, I've seen worse stuff. "The Exorcist" was much worse
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I'd also like to see a release of Russell's Lisztomania.
     
  13. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    this is a great idea! I'd pick it up in a second.
     

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