Wrought with intense sexual and violent imagery, Ken Russell’s The Devils has faced more than its fair share of censorship and editing over the years and, in some countries, the movie is still banned. Film critic, Richard Crouse, has compiled here in Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils a unique and thorough examination of this controversial film. Veteran narrator Bob Loza gives confident and easygoing performance, highlighting the humor and entertainment within all of Crouse’s research. Listen along, as Crouse explores the sordid history of this movie and tries to figure out just why it’s had a hard time ever getting the release it deserves.
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 cinema’s 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?
On vacation in LA for a few days, I saw this film in Hollywood when it first came out. I went to see it as I was familiar with Penderecki's opera and knew the story. The film was more horrific in its telling of the story than I ever could have imagined, and left me total shaken for days. I didn't realize there were many snippets to it and what I saw was a version that would just pass an X rating. We all know the fate of the film after that. I have a copy of a boot-leg DVD that is probably the same as the movie I saw, and the quality is passable at best. This audio book tells the whole tale of its creation, and is quite revealing and entertaining at the same time. For fans of this cinematic masterpiece and the characters involved in its making, it is a must hear.