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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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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:
"I let the actors do what they liked - I was more interested in the composition of the image" 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:
La MarseillaiseSee more »


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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
"I let the actors do what they liked - I was more interested in the composition of the image", 17 September 2007
Author: Spent Bullets from Chinatown, California

Carl Theodor Dreyer's second feature film is an ambitious study of evil through the ages, but the great Danish filmmaker is years away from his masterpieces of The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vampyr, Day of Wrath, Ordet and Gertrud. The inexperienced filmmaker was influenced by D.W. Griffith's 1916 Intolerance and aimed to map out the path of the Devil using Griffith's innovative filming style as a guide. He added on his realistic approach to the subject matter, as he believed realism to be the most essential part of any film.

Like its inspiration, Intolerance, Leaves from Satan's Book contains stories from four historical periods linked thematically. Unlike Griffith's film though, Dreyer chose not to cross cut between stories, which makes for a less confusing film.

Satan is the character who links the four stories. The film starts with his fall from grace, as told through inter-titles, and God's proclamation that he walk the Earth tempting humanity. For each soul that turns from God, 100 years will be added to Satan's sentence, but for every person who resists his temptations, 1000 years will be removed. Hoping to fail in his duties so that he may be admitted back into heaven, Satan tries to get men to betray what they hold most dear in four eras of history.

The first section of the film is the biblical story of Jesus' betrayal by Judas. The next story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. The third section of the film takes place during the French Revolution. The final segment is set in the Finland during the Russo-Finnish war of 1918. As a film, this wasn't Dreyer's best, but it was fairly entertaining. This early Dreyer film shows his almost innate ability to compose attractive images within the limits of the frame.

Though this film isn't the grand spectacle he was hoping for, Dreyer did a wonderful job with it. His use of the film frame and style of story telling make this a movie interesting and attractive to watch.

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