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Flesh and the Devil (1926)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  25 December 1926 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,789 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 19 critic

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

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(screen play), (from the novel "The Undying Past" by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Flesh and the Devil (1926)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Leo von Harden
...
Lars Hanson ...
Ulrich von Eltz
Barbara Kent ...
Hertha
William Orlamond ...
Uncle Kutowski
George Fawcett ...
Pastor Voss
Eugenie Besserer ...
Leo's Mother
Marc McDermott ...
Count von Rhaden
Marcelle Corday ...
Minna
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Storyline

Leo and Ulrich are life long friends. Home, on leave from their military training, Leo sees the beautiful Felicitas at the railroad station. Awed by her beauty, they meet again at the ball and quietly leave together. In her room, her husband, about whom she has neglected to inform Leo, comes in and challenges Leo to a duel. The duel is done, the Count is killed, and Felicitas is a widow. Leo, however, is 'requested' to serve 5 years in Africa and he tells Ulrich to watch over Felicitas while he is gone. After 3 years, Ulrich is able to get a pardon for Leo, and all that Leo thinks about on the way home is Felicitas. When he arrives, he learns that Felicitas has married Ulrich. Felicitas likes that Ulrich is rich and she never told Ulrich the truth about Leo and her. Leo is crushed and does not visit them which saddens Ulrich as he does not know the reason why. Leo tries to stay away from her, but Felicitas uses every opportunity to tempt him to return to her as her lover. She creating... Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

25 December 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flesh and the Devil  »

Box Office

Budget:

$373,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1988 sound)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was such a commercial success for MGM Studios and such a breakout film for Greta Garbo, that she was considered 12% of the entire studio's value by 1927. See more »

Goofs

When Leo is talking to Felicitas on the bench in the park and tells her that he must go to Africa, the position of the collar of his overcoat repeatedly changes from pulled up to flat. See more »

Quotes

Pastor Voss: My Boy, when the devil cannot reach us through the spirit... He creates a woman beautiful enough to reach us through the flesh.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kisses (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Flesh and the Devil Theme
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Frank Owens
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great melodrama
30 April 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, the plot is a bit cliche but the performances certainly make up for it! Garbo, only in the early years of her career, gives an incredibly smoldering performance as the unredeemable temptress Felicitas, who snags the hapless Leo (John Gilbert) into a web of sex and lies. Look at that sly smile as she's trying on her widow's weeds -- very effective. John Gilbert, the heir of Valentino's mantle, proves that he surpassed the master lover with a believable portrayal of a man who realizes that he's way over his head but can't help himself. He does indulge in a bit of histrionics, but is very restrained compared to other silent lovers of the era. Only his performances in "The Big Parade" and "Downstairs" better this one. As Felicitas' second husband, Lars Hanson has the looks and talent to hold his own on the screen with his two incredibly dynamic co-stars. He amazed me opposite Lillian Gish in "The Wind" and "The Scarlet Letter" and it's a shame that he made so few movies in Hollywood before returning to Sweden.

Clarence Brown keeps the narrative flowing with a healthy balance of humor, drama, romance and action. MGM's stock company of character actors (William Orlamond, Polly Moran, George Fawcett and Eugenie Besserer) make an appearance and provide excellent supporting players to the three stars.

I found the Carl Davis score to be absolutely perfect for the images up on the screen, and the music when Garbo and Gilbert dance and two necking sessions reflect the raw passion. It's just stunning and I can't come up with enough words to describe it. After Buster Keaton's entire body of work, this movie ranks as my #2 favorite, tied with The Wind.

10/10


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