“Devils” DVD on 5.20?

There’s been a quiet unconfirmed leak that Warner Home Video is finally releasing Ken Russell‘s The Devils (’71) on DVD on May 20th. Update: Warner Bros. video spokesperson Carl Samrock told me around 6 pm that there are “no plans to release The Devils per WHV.”

A cult favorite that conveys a very dark and weird vibe, The Devils is a brilliant but extremely perverse historical fantasy about medieval political persecution that starred Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave.
I was told earlier this afternoon that the DVD would run 111 minutes, which would be eight minutes longer than the 103 minute version released theatrically in the U.S. 37 and a half years ago. A moot point, obviously, if Samrock’s statement can be fully trusted.

  • Holy shit, this is great news.

  • Hallelujah!

  • JD

    I’ve always loved this movie — as much as you can love any pan-and-scan VHS, anyway — but what I’m really hoping for is a DVD of The Music Lovers. If Warner is as awesome as I think they are, maybe they’ll put out a bunch of Russell’s 70s movies simultaneously: ie. The Music Lovers, The Devils, The Boy Friend, Savage Messiah, Lisztomania, Valentino, etc. Some of these are tied-up somewhere between Warner and MGM/UA so I don’t know which ones Warner can releases, but Russell is 80… if he’s ever gonna record commentaries for these fascinatingly odd movies, now’s the time.

  • Its ace cinematographer, David Watkin (an Oscar winner for OUT OF AFRICA) died a few days ago at age 82.

  • bmcintire

    Finally! I can happily retire my VHS copy of this (years after retiring my last VHS player).
    J.D. – Only THE MUSIC LOVERS and VALENTINO are MGM’s. The rest have become property of Warner Bros. Here’s hoping!

  • frank delsa

    The Devils is incredible. Great news.

  • JaySmire

    Call me vain. Call me proud. Call me the greatest sinner put upon God’s earth. But Satan’s boy, I could never be. I haven’t the humility.
    One of my all time favorite moments from one of my all time favorite films. Saw this film twice in theaters over the past 15 years. Have always wanted to see the uncut version. I will be picking this up the second it is out.

  • Yes!

  • I’m hoping this mean other Ken Russel films get a release: Isadora, Music Lovers…
    Never satisfied.

  • scooterzz

    i’ve been a fan of russell since my teens but you’ve gotta admit that for every great film he turned out, there was a real stinker (frankly, i love the bad ones as much as the good but that doesn’t make them any less bad)…..
    that said, i get all the warner home vid press releases and can’t find anything on ‘the devils’…..

  • The Hoyk

    Your contact may be out of the loop. DVDActive has received larger artwork and an essential confirmation, albeit with no further details:


    Warner Home Video has sent over official artwork for an unrated edition (111 minutes) of the 1971 film The Devils which stars Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, and Dudley Sutton. The Ken Russell directed horror will be available to own from the 20th May, and should retail at around $19.99. As far as we know, no extra material will be included. If that changes, we will of course let you know.

  • TheJeff

    Studio publicists are usually the last people to know what’s going on. Seriously.

  • BurmaShave

    In the spirit of Mick LaSalle, I haven’t seen much Ken Russell. He’s something I think it’s best to discover on your own by accident, as I did about a year ago watching THE MUSIC LOVERS at about 1 AM on IFC or something. Insanity. I look forward to more and would love a big DVD push.

  • I wouldn’t mind seeing THE BOY FRIEND in an uncut version. The only time I saw it was in the 70s on CBS, which cut it to 72 minutes (plus commercials to fill out the 90-minute time slot).

  • Howlingman

    So it’s apparently off again? Damn. I have two bootlegs of this — one VHS, one DVD. The VHS is the proper aspect ratio, the DVD isn’t, but has a couple of nifty documentaries on it.
    Video Watchdog did a cover story on the restored version some years back that’s definitely worth a read.

  • Edward

    Maybe it’s my Catholic background (including a year in the seminary), but I love The Devils! Ken Russell sure had quite a streak of amazing films; even his not so great films like Tommy were so much fun to watch.

  • lionsfan

    I remember when several female cast members of the movie, according to Variety and the Brit papers at the time, at least threatened to file suit against the film’s director and producers, on the grounds that some cast members had taken the orgy scenes way too seriously.
    And the Aldous Huxley book on which Russell’s film is at least nominally based is a very badly written piece of anti-Christian claptrap.