I can't believe I'd not watched this before, it's an excellent, if strange film. Oliver Reed plays an eloquent and sex loving priest. He acts as the leader of his town that has known peace and prosperity, but when he protects the town's famous walls he makes powerful enemies. He's accused of being in league with the devil by a spurned nun.
It sounds absurd and in many ways it is (although it is based on events of the time), the film has an almost pantomime feel with the French court and the machinations of the church. The early part of the film establishes the priest as urbane, but a reasonable man set against the horrors of the plague sweeping through the town.
When he's accused of working for the Devil things take a more sinister turn. For me Oliver Reed steals the show, his performance in this is superb, he is given a run for his money by the inquisitor who is over the top with his zeal, but it's the priest's strength during the trials that gives him the crown.
Mention of Vanessa Redgrave's performance as the nun obsessed with the priest should also be made, while it doesn't stand out as much as the lead's, it does work well.
As I said at the start it is an odd film, for it's age it's a very sexual film and the sheer craziness of it all is a juxtaposition to the horror of what is happening. I appreciated how effective the torture scenes were without the modern tendency to show you everything, for me it has greater impact that way. An excellent and disturbing film to watch.
#9968756, By TechnoHippy Rate the last film you watched out of 100
TechnoHippy 14,596 posts
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