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The Devils$
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Darren Arnold

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325758

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325758.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2022

Authorship and Adaptation

Authorship and Adaptation

(p.31) Chapter 2: Authorship and Adaptation
The Devils

Darren Arnold

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines Ken Russell's The Devils (1973) in terms of authorship and adaptation. The Devils is often viewed, quite understandably, as being pure Ken Russell, but the influence of the two acknowledged sources on his screenplay should not be overlooked. A common view is that much of the historical information in the film was gleaned from Aldous Huxley's 1952 book The Devils of Loudun, and the dialogue was influenced by (or lifted from) John Whiting's 1961 play The Devils. Both of the film's credited sources allow for interesting correlations with Russell's film, but what is often passed over is that Whiting's play was based on Huxley's book—therefore the film is based on both a book and a play that was based on that same book, meaning Russell adapts Huxley both directly and indirectly. With this in mind, a straightforward bifurcation of The Devils' screenplay is not really possible.

Keywords:   Ken Russell, The Devils, authorship, adaptation, Aldous Huxley, John Whiting

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