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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: 22 May 2022

Versions and Censorship

Versions and Censorship

(p.89) Chapter 6: Versions and Censorship
The Devils

Darren Arnold

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the censorship travails of Ken Russell's The Devils (1973) and the various versions of the film which have appeared on both big and small screens. The Devils is a film which, in the main, has not been well looked after since it debuted in cinemas in 1971. For the most part, the various versions of the film which exist are inextricably linked to its censorship history. The film has spent much of its life being squeezed on both sides, as both internal and external censorship have played their part in altering Russell's vision. This was not the first time a film had had its wings clipped by both Warner Bros. and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), as a similar fate had previously befallen Performance (1970). Trying to compare various releases really is an onerous task, as running time—even when frame rate is taken into account—is no reliable guide, given that cuts can be made via substitution and transfers can happen at wonky speeds, plus there are the vagaries of distributor logos and so on. However, one can run through the film's main incarnations on the big screen, and also look at some of the home-video options that are out there.

Keywords:   censorship, Ken Russell, The Devils, Warner Bros, British Board of Film Classification, big screen, home video

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