IMDb > Leaves From Satan's Book (1920)

Leaves From Satan's Book (1920) More at IMDbPro »Blade af Satans bog (original title)


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Edgar Høyer (scenario by)
Marie Corelli (from a novel by)
View company contact information for Leaves From Satan's Book on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 November 1920 (Norway) See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Dreyer's third film is prosaic silent film making See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order)
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)
Vilhelm Petersen ... Fouquier-Tinville (third sequence) (as Vilh. Petersen)

Clara Pontoppidan ... Siri (fourth sequence) (as Clara Wieth Pontoppidan)
Carlo Wieth ... Paavo (fourth sequence)
Karina Bell ... Naimi (fourth sequence)
Carl Hillebrandt ... Rautamiemi (fourth sequence)
Christian Nielsen ... Corporal Matti (fourth sequence)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Erling Hanson ... John (first sequence) (uncredited)
Wilhelm Jensen ... Carpenter (uncredited)
Sven Scholander ... Michonnet (third sequence) (uncredited)

Directed by
Carl Theodor Dreyer  (as Carl Th. Dreyer)
Writing credits
Edgar Høyer (scenario by)

Marie Corelli (from a novel by)

Carl Theodor Dreyer  uncredited

Original Music by
Philip Carli (2004 reissue)
Cinematography by
George Schnéevoigt (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Axel Bruun (uncredited)
Carl Theodor Dreyer (uncredited)
Jens G. Lind (uncredited)
Other crew
David Shepard .... video producer (2004 alternate version)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Blade af Satans bog" - Denmark (original title)
"Leaves Out of the Book of Satan" - USA (informal literal English title)
See more »
Argentina:112 min | Sweden:110 min | USA:130 min (Grapevine Video DVD version) | Finland:167 min (16 fps) | USA:121 min (2004 alternate version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-12 (1966) | USA:TV-14 (TV rating)

Did You Know?

One of the first films in the world that dealt with the Finnish civil war in 1918.See more »
Movie Connections:
Finlandia Op.26See more »


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18 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Dreyer's third film is prosaic silent film making, 7 February 2005

This was Dryer's third film and while his second, THE PARSON'S WIDOW, is a finely wrought, wry comedy/drama with many of the trademarks of Dreyer's later visual and dramatic forms already evident, LEAVES FROM SATAN'S BOOK is rather a throw back to the old style of silent film making - emotional posturing rather than subtlety, rare use of close-ups, tableaux composition.

So many of Murnau's early films are like this as well, then suddenly a revelation and in 1924 THE LAST LAUGH revolutionizes film making. Dreyer's style in THE PARSON'S WIDOW and MICHAEL (not to mention his masterpiece, THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC) is singular and identifiable. However, not so in LEAVES. One wonders if he simply lost interest in it and directed it pedantically to get it out of the way.

It's a very long film - two hours and ten minutes in Grapevine Video's DVD release (as opposed to one hour, 50 minutes in original release and the TCM print running nine minutes shorter than Grapevine's - 121 minutes). It is divided into four sections, showing Satan coming to earth to tempt man - and always saddened by man's weak will, for every Satanic success means more years in Hell, while every resistant human soul wins a thousand years credit against Satan's sentence.

Section One involves Judas' betrayal of Christ (27 minutes); Section Two, set during the Spanish Inquisition relates a monk's lust for a young girl (26 minutes); Section Three - the longest at 46 minutes and the most interesting - is set during the French Revolution in 1793; and Section Four was set in Dreyer's contemporary time (1918)and involves Finland and the Russian invasion - 31 minutes.

Section One is a bore since we know the story. Sections Two and Four are mildly interesting, although we can see where they are heading. Quite the best and above all the others is section Three, where the levels of drama and script are multi-layered and where we really cannot predict how it is going to turn out.

For Dreyer fans, since he made so few films (only 9 silent features and 6 talking features, plus many short subjects), this is a must for the collection, but its interest is mainly historical, as it does not contribute significantly to the art of film.

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