RIP Ken Russell

I was saddened by the news this morning that iconoclastic British film director Ken Russell has passed away at age 84. Making a name for himself in the '60s with his flamboyant BBC documentaries on Dante, Delius, Isadora Duncan and Richard Strauss (which so angered the Strauss family it was banned), Russell moved on to features with his successful adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women In Love starring Glenda Jackson and featuring a famous naked wrestling scene between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates (pictured below). Controversy followed with The Music Lovers, his unfairly panned biography on Tchaikovsky starring Richard Chamberlain and The Devils. The latter, based on a book by Aldous Huxley and starring Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed, scandalized audiences with its depiction of possessed nuns. Russell's also known for adapting the rock opera Tommy, which starred the Who's Roger Daltrey, and he cast the rock star again in his bizarre Lisztomania. Other films included The Boy Friend starring Twiggy, Altered States with William Hurt, Crimes Of Passion with Kathleen Turner, Gothic and Whore. He was a true original. 

Subscribe to Get More