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12 Remote Warehouse Film and Television- History and Criticism

Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils

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Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils Cover

ISBN13: 9781770410664
ISBN10: 177041066x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of one of the most controversial films in history How did a movie by one of the most famous filmmakers in the world end up banned, censored, and shelved? Made by “the English Federico Fellini,” Ken Russell, The Devils is so contentious that even decades after its 1971 release, Warner Brothers keeps its most incendiary scene under lock and key. Featuring an exclusive interview with recently deceased director Ken Russell and new interviews with cast, crew, and historians, Raising Hell examines this beautifully blasphemous movie about an oversexed priest and a group of sexually repressed nuns in 17th century France. From the films inception through its headline-making production and controversial reception, Richard Crouse explores what it is about Russells rarely seen cult classic that makes it a cinematic treasure.

Synopsis:

From exclusive interviews with director Ken Russell and new interviews with cast, crew, and historians, comes this examination of the beautifully blasphemous film The Devils. Based on historical fact, this controversial 1971 film is about an oversexed priest and a group of sexually repressed nuns in 17th-century France and the ensuing trials and exorcisms that followed. Detailing the production and the personalities of two of cinemas great eccentrics, director Ken Russell and star Oliver Reed, Crouse delves deeper to explore the aftermath of the film. Chiefly, the question asked is How can a movie by one of the most famous filmmakers in the world end up banned, edited, and ignored by the company that owns it?

About the Author

Richard Crouse is a film critic who hosted "Reel to Real" on the Independent Film Channel, "In Short" on Bravo, and is a frequent guest on many national Canadian radio and television shows. He is the author of "The 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen," "Reel Winners," and "The Son of the 100 Best Movies You've Never Seen." He lives in Toronto.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Prologue

Give Me Moody One:

My Night with Ken Russell 7

Chapter One Oliver Reed and Ken Russell 13

Chapter Two Inspiration and the Writing 35

Chapter Three Casting The Devils 57

Chapter Four Sights and Sounds of The Devils 69

Chapter Five Directing The Devils 87

Chapter Six The Devils' Context 119

Chapter Seven The Films Release 139

Chapter Eight Renaissance of The Devils 163

Appendix Historical Cast of Characters 183

Bibliography 193

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Gold Gato, December 31, 2012 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
THE DEVILS long has remained a thorn in the side of Warner Brothers. Although it's a British film through and through, WB owns the rights (note to British film industry...find your own funding) and because of the far-right Christian beliefs of its current CEO, the studio will not okay an official DVD release of the director's cut nor provide an official restoration release for limited big-screen release.

Yet, this Ken Russell masterpiece, for all its controversy, ranks among the top of any post-war British movie list and unlike many of the 1960-1970 movies, it does not look dated. One main reason for this, as the author lucidly explains, is that Russell noted that it was a historical picture and the people of that time believed they lived in a modern world, much as we do today. Based on The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley, the film examines the destruction of the priest Grandier who makes the mistake of crossing the mighty Cardinal Richelieu during France's unification efforts of the seventeenth century.

Richard Crouse (Canada's influential film critic) is clearly a fervent fan of the movie and his thorough efforts to research and meet with cast and crew members is exemplary. While the great Oliver Reed had already passed away before this book was written, it reminded me of a huge painted portrait of Ollie as Grandier which was hanging (probably still is) on the wall of a pub in Buttevant, Cork in Ireland. The remembrances of those involved are vivid, particularly from Dudley Sutton.

"I was the tit warmer. They danced around a tree I think, and as they came running off the set I had two hairdryers and I was warming their breasts."

And that is a Ken Russell movie in all its madness. Venues in London, New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles have shown the movie to sell-out industry crowds when Russell was on hand to receive our ovations. It's a shame he died before the nanny-panny Hollywood studio would do something about a major release, but the more they hide it, the more it becomes forbidden fruit to a new generation of moviegoers.

Book Season = Winter (bye bye blackbird)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781770410664
Author:
Crouse, Richard
Publisher:
ECW Press
Subject:
Film - History & Criticism
Subject:
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
198
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Directors
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Specific Film
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Boxing » General

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Product details 198 pages ECW Press - English 9781770410664 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

From exclusive interviews with director Ken Russell and new interviews with cast, crew, and historians, comes this examination of the beautifully blasphemous film The Devils. Based on historical fact, this controversial 1971 film is about an oversexed priest and a group of sexually repressed nuns in 17th-century France and the ensuing trials and exorcisms that followed. Detailing the production and the personalities of two of cinemas great eccentrics, director Ken Russell and star Oliver Reed, Crouse delves deeper to explore the aftermath of the film. Chiefly, the question asked is How can a movie by one of the most famous filmmakers in the world end up banned, edited, and ignored by the company that owns it?

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