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

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played in the 2004 alternate version score in the third sequence mostly to accompany the actors singing it silently on-screen
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User Reviews

 
An Ambitious Danish Epic about Evil Temptation through Time
12 October 2014 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Satan is exiled from Heaven by God and doomed to stay on Earth. God states that for each soul who falls in temptation, his sentence will be increased in one hundred years; for each soul who resists, his sentence will be decreased in one thousand years. Satan is followed in dark moments of mankind history: the betrayal of Jesus by Judas; the Spanish Inquisition; the French Revolution; and the Finnish Civil War of 1918.

"Blade af Satans bog" is an ambitious (or pretentious) Danish epic about evil temptation through time. Carl Theodor Dreyer made this movie inspired in D. W. Griffith's epic "Intolerance". I saw the version released in Brazil on VHS with 108 minutes running time; therefore a version totally mutilated and it would be unfair if I write that the screenplay is messy. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Páginas do Livro de Satã" ("Pages from Satan's Book")


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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