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Ken Russell's The Devils ------> May 20

Old 02-28-08, 09:00 AM
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A Ken Russell commentary on this film would be awesome...
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Old 02-28-08, 09:11 AM
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1971

THE DEVILS…Director…Ken Russell…
Oliver Reed…Vanessa Redgrave…Dudley Sutton…
I worked for about sixteen weeks on this film standing/in for Dudley and doing every crowd scene possible..
From the first day on set I could not believe what I was seeing.
A bevy of young girls dressed as Nuns walking around the set topless.
Reg Prince, who was Oliver Reeds stand/in said to me ‘’Stop looking Aitch, or you’ll go blind’’
I said ‘’I’ll risk one eye’’.
After the first couple of days it was back to looking at the Racing Post.
I thought this film was Dudley’s finest performance. How he could remember all those very long speeches was beyond me.. (That’s the difference between an actor and a supporting artist)
As I said, I got involved in many of the crowd scenes. Some days we had six Crowd Artists and another time six hundred.
After a couple of months Ted Morley the 1st A.D. said ‘’Come in at six in the morning Aitch, Ken’s got a little job for you’’ (Be wary of Ken’s little jobs)
I’m in the make up room bright and early the next day standing in just my underpants. (Not a pretty sight at six in the morning)
I’m painted off/white and grey and have rags tied about certain parts of my body.
One of the make up girls pours some rice crispies into a bowl. (I’m thinking it must be breakfast time.)
Then glue is applied one side of my face, shoulders and body and the rice is stuck on.
After that they’re painted yellow, red and a few other colours and it looks like I’ve got the plague. (That was the plan in the first place)
It’s nearly eight o clock now and I’m told I can go over to the Pinewood canteen and have a quick breakfast then go straight onto the set which was on the back lot..
The canteen was packed when I entered but within seconds I had a table to myself. (I wonder why?)
Later on at the back lot they’ve dug a huge crater and filled it up with raggedly dressed dummies and I’m going to lay on the top.. This is the plague pit and I’m starring. Murrey Melvin was blessing our poor disfigured bodies.
I had a smoke while they were lighting the set and it reminded me of that cigar advert Where the man is all at peace with his lot.. I thought to myself ‘’Is this it Aitch, on the scrap heap at thirty one years old’’
Another of Ken’s little jobs was to dress me up as a giant crow and to get drowned in the Pinewood pond. (Under the supervision of Peter Braham, Stunt Director)
Now in theory it’s quite easy to do. You float in the pond then sink into three foot of water whilst holding a plastic bottle of air in one hand and another one of blood in the other hand…(Simple)
As you sink you squeeze the bottles and the air and blood rise to the surface.
(Now here’s the rub)
The giant crows feathers wont let me sink.
After about ten minutes the brains on the film come up with plan B.
They will drop a huge weight with a steel ring in it to the bottom of the pond, then tie a rope around my waist under the feathers then through the steel ring.
Pass the rope To the three prop men standing on the other side of the pond and they will pull me under the water. (It gets worse)
By now I’ve been in the water for nearly an hour and I’m getting cold. The fish in the pond have got the hump with me and have started nibbling at the feathers and certain other parts of my anatomy. A couple of large brandies help with the cold and we’re Ready for a take. (Let’s do it) (now here’s the plot.)
I’m floating on the top and on a cue the prop men will pull me down to the bottom
As I’m releasing air and blood.. (Big thought) What about my own air supply.???
How will the prop men know when I’ve run out of air to breathe so that they can release the rope. Another large brandy and it’s decided that when I pull on the rope they will release it their end.
Well to cut an even longer story short the idea worked and after about six takes (And Six more brandies) Ken got what he wanted.

The moral of this story is, don’t mix brandy and water. (Oh happy days)

The Devils was a great film to work on and I’d like to thank all the cast and crew for making it such a fun time.
I’d like to say a very special thanks to the wonderful 2nd A.D. Mr. Vincent Winters.
Vincent was a child actor and his great claim to fame was the film ‘’THE KIDNAPPERS’’ Made in the fifties. He played the younger of the two brothers who find a baby on the Scottish Moors and want to call it Rover... (A wonderful film)
I had a row with him twenty years later and never got to say sorry.
Vincent has since died and I’m still sorry. (God bless)

Aitch,
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Old 02-28-08, 09:45 AM
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great story - uh, but why aren't you credited ('uncredited') on imdb for your work on 'The Devils' - sorry to be nitpicky.

where there spectators/extras during the filming of the 'Rape of Christ' scene or was that a closed set for the 'nun' actresses?

Last edited by Giles; 02-28-08 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 02-28-08, 11:28 AM
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Great news. I've never seen this film but have heard so much about it that I can't wait to grab a copy and see it for the first time in anamorphic glory!
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Old 02-28-08, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mao
Julie Walker,

It's on the retail/presss site...sorry, can't link to that!

Thanks,that is good to know. This is something to look forward to now,as I've waited years for such a release. Though it may just be the UK cut,it's better than nothing coming from Warner. At least it won't be the R rated version from the looks of the running time.

And full scope widescreen should be amazing to see. I've seen a copy of the UK cut before. But it was pretty lousy quality,that I only watched it once. And that was like in 2002 I think.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Julie Walker
Thanks,that is good to know. This is something to look forward to now,as I've waited years for such a release. Though it may just be the UK cut,it's better than nothing coming from Warner. At least it won't be the R rated version from the looks of the running time.

And full scope widescreen should be amazing to see. I've seen a copy of the UK cut before. But it was pretty lousy quality,that I only watched it once. And that was like in 2002 I think.
a true special edition of this release would have had WB culling all the extras from the bootleg DVD - the featurettes and doc, plus a commentary from Ken Russell and (wishful thinking) Video Watchdog's Tim Lucas.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Neeb
Now I wonder if we'll get DVDs of The Music Lovers and Isadora...

Both long overdue.
Yes, this would have been a good opportunity for Warners to do a Ken Russell box-set including THE DEVILS, SAVAGE MESSIAH, THE BOY FRIEND, and LISZTOMANIA. Oh well, at least we get THE DEVILS.

As far as THE MUSIC LOVERS, that's with MGM. It's my favorite Ken Russell film by far. I find it even more intense and insane than THE DEVILS in its own mad way. I'm sick of watching my crappy DVD-R taken off the scope laserdisc. Is MGM even releasing catalog titles now that they're aligned with Fox?
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Old 02-28-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by man*machine
Yes, this would have been a good opportunity for Warners to do a Ken Russell box-set including THE DEVILS, SAVAGE MESSIAH, THE BOY FRIEND, and LISZTOMANIA. Oh well, at least we get THE DEVILS.

As far as THE MUSIC LOVERS, that's with MGM. It's my favorite Ken Russell film by far. I find it even more intense and insane than THE DEVILS in its own mad way. I'm sick of watching my crappy DVD-R taken off the scope laserdisc. Is MGM even releasing catalog titles now that they're aligned with Fox?
given the number of times I've asked the same question, I always forget what the answer is... The Boyfriend is also a MGM release.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:55 PM
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[QUOTE=Giles]great story - uh, but why aren't you credited ('uncredited') on imdb for your work on 'The Devils' - sorry to be nitpicky.

where there spectators/extras during the filming of the 'Rape of Christ' scene or was that a closed set for the 'nun' actresses?[/QUOTE

Now I'm thinking back 36 years, (where did the time go ?) and I did work every day on the movie.
You will notice on the DVD box that there is a large crowd standing round the two main artists when he comes down from the cross. I was in there somewhere dressed as a Roman Guard. As I said before I have not seen the film yet but when I get the DVD I will look at it and try to get some screen grabs.
You normally only get a credit on a show if you are part of the cast or if you play a bit part. I was on the Devils as a stand/in for Dudley Sutton so you don't rate for a credit.

I did get to work with Ken Russell on half a dozen other films and again with no credits. (But I got a good living for 32 years)
It's all on my web...

Aitch,
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Old 02-28-08, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by harryfielder
It's all on my web...
You were in Star Wars? Too cool.
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Old 02-28-08, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rypro 525
http://www.hkflix.com/xq/asp/filmID....qx/details.htm
Is this a bootleg or a poor copy. it has the documentary and claims to be uncut.
I picked this up several years ago. I wanted to finally see the movie plus check out the doc.

Yes, the presentation quality was lacking, but I was finally able to see it. Turns out, I really enjoyed the movie and eagerly awaited a decent release. Looks like patience paid off. At least I'll keep the disc for the documentaries that should've been included on this upcoming release.
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Old 02-28-08, 06:40 PM
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Great news as I've never seen this much criticised classic - love a Ken Russell Boxset!
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Old 02-28-08, 07:46 PM
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from DVD active:
"Title: The Devils (IMDb)
Starring: Vanessa Redgrave
Released: 20th May 2008
SRP: $19.99

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. Artwork is attached..."
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Old 02-28-08, 09:54 PM
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God, as much as I want this, come May I might as well wait for a Blu Ray announcement or the DD Summersale, whichever comes first.

Talk about a nice suprise out of nowhere, though.
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Old 02-29-08, 12:44 AM
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The only Ken Russell movies I've ever seen are "Tommy" and his adapation of D.H. Lawrence's "Women In Love." His films have a very interesting visual style. I've read about "The Devils," and it sounds like it might be a bit much. Do you need a high tolerance for certain things to watch it? I get the gist of what happens in it; I'm just not sure how overpowering it might be.
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Old 02-29-08, 12:51 AM
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Old 02-29-08, 01:00 AM
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Great Pic, that's how I remember that scene on the back lot of Pinewood studios....

Aitch,



Oliver signed this to my wife...
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Old 02-29-08, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Breton
The only Ken Russell movies I've ever seen are "Tommy" and his adapation of D.H. Lawrence's "Women In Love." His films have a very interesting visual style. I've read about "The Devils," and it sounds like it might be a bit much. Do you need a high tolerance for certain things to watch it? I get the gist of what happens in it; I'm just not sure how overpowering it might be.
I wouldn't think so. It's really fairly tame compared to a lot of later nunsploitation films that tried (unsuccessfully) to copy it. It's really a commentary about hypocrisy and religion in general. Ken Russell's movies have a point unlike the more salacious ones. Although, having gone to catholic school, I admit I like those too.

Last edited by Quatermass; 02-29-08 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 02-29-08, 11:40 AM
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Every time I see this thread title, I read it "Keri Russell" and think WTF.
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Old 02-29-08, 01:25 PM
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According to Warner Home Video executive publicity director Ronnee Sass, there are no plans to release The Devils on dvd in 2008, despite the appearance of the title on WHV's website, which was "a mistake".
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Old 02-29-08, 03:53 PM
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I thought this "announcement" didn't look right.
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Old 02-29-08, 04:35 PM
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Yup, it's completely disappeared from the schedule!
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Old 02-29-08, 04:41 PM
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First Repulsion, now this.
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Old 02-29-08, 05:34 PM
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And they wonder why people pick up the boot.
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Old 02-29-08, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kintnerboy
According to Warner Home Video executive publicity director Ronnee Sass, there are no plans to release The Devils on dvd in 2008, despite the appearance of the title on WHV's website, which was "a mistake".



Son Of A Bitch.
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