'The Devils' With Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave Scares Up U.K. DVD Release

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Vanessa Redgrave

Controversial 1970s Brit flick to be rolled out by British Film Institute's label.

LONDON -- Ken Russell's controversial religious drama The Devils, starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, is to be released on DVD, more than 40 years after it was made.

Russell’s film, which caused outrage amongst audiences and critics alike on its theatrical release after one of the longest-running battles with the BBFC was resolved, is to be rolled out on DVD by the British Film Institute.

The BFI said Tuesday is has acquired the release the movie on DVD in its original ‘X’ certificate version.

Reed and Redgrave star in the movie that won best director and best foreign film during the Venice Film Festival in 1971.

Based on John Whiting’s stage-play and Aldous Huxley’s novel, the film charts the seventeenth-century events that took place in the French city of Loudun.

Reed plays priest Urbain Grandier, and Redgrave is Sister Jeanne, whose erotic obsession with him fuels the hysterical fervour that sweeps through the convent.

Derek Jarman designed the sets and Peter Maxwell Davies composed the score for Russell’s depiction of the breakdown of civilization.

BFI Video Publishing chief Sam Dunn described the film as “one of the greatest British productions of all time.”

Said Dunn: “Our special edition will not only feature the longest version of the film ever to have been released on DVD, but will also include a host of new and exciting extra features.”

Details of the extras will be revealed closer to the DVD release in March 2012.