Cardinal Richelieu and his power-hungry entourage seek to take control of pre-Renaissance France, but need to destroy Father Grandier - the priest who runs the fortified town that prevents them from exerting total control.
If Ken Russell is a director you either love or loathe, then this, his most notorious film, also cuts the Russell acolytes down the middle. Is it art? Is it porn?
Based on a tale by Aldous Huxley, this violent and explicit take on witchcraft in 17th century France has Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave at their demonic best but also shows Russell's blatant sensationalism in sex and murder.
Reed throws in a phenomenal performance as the sex-mad Father Grandier, is morality being tested at every turn. And Redgrave excites as the sex-obsessed mother superior. however you look at it it's a fascinating piece of film.
Whatever the moral perspective, it keeps you gripped right to the end.