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Devil in the Flesh

Devil in the Flesh (Scott Murray, 1986) aka Beyond Innocence (US), wr. Scott Murray, based on novel Le diable au corps (Raymond Radiguet); © 1985, premiere Cannes 1986 [the date usually given for this film is 1989, that of its Australian premiere]; Katia Caballero, Keith Smith, John Morris, Jill Forster; schoolboy falls in love with French woman, who falls pregnant

I watched Scott Murray’s film (which was first shown at Cannes in 1986 but not released in Australia until 1989) under its Australian title – and then again as Beyond Innocence, its US video title; and I must say that the American distributor had a different film in mind from the one I saw. The quality that struck me most is in fact something like: innocence. It’s a very simple story of two young people who fall in love, only complicated by the fact that the woman is married and the youth still at school. And it’s shot in a very straightforward and ‘tasteful’ way. It’s a ‘European’ Australian film.

Rolando Caputo:
... there are many fine moments overall in Murray's handling of the theme of a free spirit changing the personality of an emotionally closed individual. Rolando Caputo, in Murray: 275. See also his article in Cinema Papers, 71, Jan 1989: 54-55.

David Stratton:
Devil in the Flesh is almost unique in that it combines a strong French influence with a very Australian flavour. ... [it] is one of the few genuinely erotic films made in Australia in the 80s ... but the sex scenes, despite all the nudity, remain rather tentative. Stratton: 184, 185.

Raymond Radiguet's (1903-1923) novel (1923) was the source of a feature film of 1947, directed by Claude Autant-Lara and starring GĂ©rard Philipe. Storyline: During World War I, underage student Francois Jaubert meets and falls in love with Marthe Grangier, who is engaged to Jacques, a soldier at the Front. Though Francois pursues her ardently, they become separated and she marries Jacques. But when Marthe and Francois meet again, their mutual feelings prove stronger than ever, and they begin an extramarital affair...regardless of potentially tragic consequences.
Another filmed version was by Marco Bellocchio, Diavolo in corpo (1986).

Garry Gillard | New: 7 October, 2012 | Now: 11 January, 2023