A sexually repressed nun (fiercely played by Vanessa Redgrave) accuses Father Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) of communing with the devil after rejecting her advances––and plays into the crown’s attempt to consolidate state power. Based on real accounts of demonic possession in 17th-century France, the late Ken Russell’s film fearlessly places visceral carnality alongside church and state corruption. Critics and censors went bonkers over its thrilling transgressions (including a naked nun orgy), but the implicit political critique makes it feel as dangerous now as during its release