6.8/10
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Leaves From Satan's Book (1920)

Blade af Satans bog (original title)
TV-14 | | Drama | 24 January 1921 (Denmark)
In 4 episodic tales of human suffering; the temptation of Jesus, the Spanish Inquisition, the French Revolution and the Russo-Finnish war of 1918, Satan attempts to win God's favor.

Director:

(as Carl Th. Dreyer)

Writers:

(scenario by), (from a novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helge Nissen ...
Satan / The Grand Inquisitor / Erneste / Ivan
Halvard Hoff ...
Jesus (first sequence)
Jacob Texiere ...
Judas (first sequence) (as Jacob Texière)
Hallander Helleman ...
Don Gomez de Castro (second sequence)
Ebon Strandin ...
Isabel - Castro's Daughter (second sequence)
Johannes Meyer ...
Don Fernandez (second sequence)
Nalle Halden ...
The Majordomo (second sequence) (as Nalle Haldén)
Tenna Kraft ...
Marie Antoinette (third sequence) (as Tenna Frederiksen Kraft)
Viggo Wiehe ...
Count de Chambord (third sequence)
Emma Wiehe ...
The Countess of Chambord (third sequence)
Jeanne Tramcourt ...
Lady Genevive de Chambord (third sequence)
Hugo Bruun ...
Count Manuel (third sequence)
Elith Pio ...
Joseph (third sequence)
Emil Helsengreen ...
The People's Commissar (third sequence)
Viggo Lindstrøm ...
Old Pitou (third sequence)
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Storyline

After seeing D. W. Griffith's epic Intolerance, Denmark's greatest director, Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr), was inspired to make his own four-episode historical epic with each story told end to end, anthology-style, linked by theme to the others. The unifying character, Satan, attempts to win God's favor but is doomed to cheerless participation in dark episodes of human history: the temptation of Jesus, the Spanish Inquisition, the French Revolution and the Russo-Finnish war of 1918. Few directors resisted compromise and convention the way Dreyer did; fortunately, the Nordisk Film Company was artistically progressive by Hollywood standards and agreed that this should be a prestige film made to the highest standards. More than two years in production, Dreyer not only directed but also controlled every facet of this ambitious production. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

24 January 1921 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Leaves From Satan's Book  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Grapevine Video DVD) | | (2004 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films in the world that dealt with the Finnish civil war in 1918. See more »

Connections

Edited into From Camille to Joan of Arc (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Finlandia Op.26
(1898) (uncredited)
Written by Jean Sibelius
Played in the 2004 alternate version score in the fourth sequence (set in Finland)
See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing
11 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Leaves from Satan's Book (1922)

** (out of 4)

Carl Theodor Dreyer's tale of Satan's attempt to use temptation to get back into Heaven. We follow Satan through four periods including the crucifixion of Jesus and the Spanish Inquisition. The film is visually beautiful and the set design is remarkable but the stories are all deadly boring. The third segment, which is the longest, is downright bad. The first segment with Jesus has way too unintentional laughs and it's rather strange that Jesus looks a lot creepier than Satan!

Those expecting a horror film will probably be disappointing as this film plays out more like a historical drama.


5 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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