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Author Topic: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)  (Read 4023 times)

Paul

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An atmospheric but not wholly successful reworking of Robert Wise’s THE BODYSNATCHER from 1948, which in turn was based on the true story of a pair of Irish degenerates—Broome and Fallon, played by Stephen Rea and Jonathan Pryce, respectively--who scour cemeteries for fresh cadavers to sell to the renowned Doctor Rock (Timothy Dalton) for experimentation.

While Francis imbues the world in which these characters inhabit with much of the gothic charm and visual flair that was evident in his Hammer films, the film does suffer from some poor characterisation and hammy performances – especially those of Pryce, Julian Sands (as Dalton’s assistant) and Twiggy as a rather unglamorous whore. Dalton however, is exceptional, as is Patrick Stewart who crops up in a thankless role.

Gripes aside, there’s still plenty to enjoy here and those looking for a little controversy should certainly seek out the R1 DVD as a rather extensive scene depicting a cockfight will most definitely be missing from a UK release, should ever there be one.

The film was released on DVD by 20th Century Fox in 2005 and one would expect to see a transfer bordering on pristine but the print is a little soft but devoid of any damage. The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and as one would expect, Francis utilised the framing well.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Jonny

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Re: Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #1 on: 10 Oct 2007 - 22:22 »

Really enjoyed this and used to have the big box VHS of it many years ago. Had no idea it was a scope film though! It'll look bloody amazing compared to the fullscreen effort I've previously seen!

I thought it quite refreshing to see Twiggy as an unglamorous whore, in reality have you ever, truthfully, seen a glamorous one?

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Paul

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Re: Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #2 on: 10 Oct 2007 - 22:35 »

In reality? No, I remember the first one I ever saw was a ringer for Pat Butcher!

Funny you mention the tape of this flick on CBS/Fox Video - I was pawing trhough some ex-rentals the other day and came across one - I was set to pick it up so that I could sell it on, but discovered it was covered in rot...

You're right about the picture, it was only a minor quibble, though you'd expect a company like Fox to have done a better job, that's all. It's an enjoyable film and one I'm sure I'll watch again sometime.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Phill

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #3 on: 11 Oct 2007 - 21:54 »

Haven't seen this for years and I've still got the R1 sitting unopened on my shelf and I've had it for 2 years! Thanks for the reminder Paul I'll dig this out of the too watch pile a.s.a.p and revisit it. I've got the screenplay somewhere, written by non other than that famous Welsh piss head poet Dylan Thomas and it's quite a bit different from the finished version.
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Paul

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #4 on: 12 Oct 2007 - 12:15 »

Haven't seen this for years and I've still got the R1 sitting unopened on my shelf and I've had it for 2 years! Thanks for the reminder Paul I'll dig this out of the too watch pile a.s.a.p and revisit it. I've got the screenplay somewhere, written by non other than that famous Welsh piss head poet Dylan Thomas and it's quite a bit different from the finished version.

From what I read, Thomas wrote the screenplay for a version done in the 40s, though I couldn't find that film on his IMDB filmography - it was later adapted into DOCOR AND THE DEVILS.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Phill

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #5 on: 12 Oct 2007 - 17:52 »

Haven't seen this for years and I've still got the R1 sitting unopened on my shelf and I've had it for 2 years! Thanks for the reminder Paul I'll dig this out of the too watch pile a.s.a.p and revisit it. I've got the screenplay somewhere, written by non other than that famous Welsh piss head poet Dylan Thomas and it's quite a bit different from the finished version.

From what I read, Thomas wrote the screenplay for a version done in the 40s, though I couldn't find that film on his IMDB filmography - it was later adapted into DOCOR AND THE DEVILS.

Thomas' screenplay was never filmed as written mate, just adapted for this film as you say. The screenplay has a still from the film on the cover though.
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Fearlono

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Re: Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #6 on: 17 Oct 2007 - 18:43 »

Really enjoyed this and used to have the big box VHS of it many years ago. Had no idea it was a scope film though! It'll look bloody amazing compared to the fullscreen effort I've previously seen!

I thought it quite refreshing to see Twiggy as an unglamorous whore, in reality have you ever, truthfully, seen a glamorous one?



I still have your old VHS of this Jonny, and if you (or anyone else) wants it, you can have it for the price of postage as all my video tapes must leave the building.
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Fearlono

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #7 on: 18 Oct 2007 - 23:18 »

Or else I could just hand it over in exchange for some free popcorn.
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CJ

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #8 on: 10 Jan 2008 - 01:33 »

I recently watched the R1 DVD in its 2.35.1 ratio and was taken off-guard by it. I never really rated this movie, but seeing it again I reckon it's a career best performance from Dalton. It's an amazing film all-round. Yes, I'm a fan.

And why do I think that when I finally get to meet Jonny that he'll look exactly like Tomas Milian. I just have this gut feeling...
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Paul

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #9 on: 10 Jan 2008 - 08:40 »


And why do I think that when I finally get to meet Jonny that he'll look exactly like Tomas Milian. I just have this gut feeling...

You're not too far from the truth, CJ - there's definitely a bit of a likeness. Imagine Milian circa 1976, relocated to present day Lancashire and you've got an idea of what he looks like  :-\
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

ecc

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #10 on: 28 Jan 2008 - 14:04 »

Quote
Had no idea it was a scope film though!

I saw this on tape several years ago before I knew much about film and at the time did not understand why the image was so narrow during the opening credits and then stretched to normal after the credits.

I don't remember much about the film but I liked John Morris' main title theme.

Paul

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Re: The Doctor And The Devils (Freddie Francis, 1985)
« Reply #11 on: 28 Jan 2008 - 14:13 »

check out the R1 disc, if you get around to it. Not an amazing film but still entertaining.
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"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson
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