Flesh and the Devil (1926)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  25 December 1926 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,114 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 23 critic

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



(screen play) (as Benjamin F. Glazer) , (from the novel "The Undying Past" by), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Lars Hanson ...
Ulrich von Eltz
William Orlamond ...
Uncle Kutowski
George Fawcett ...
Pastor Voss
Eugenie Besserer ...
Leo's Mother
Count von Rhaden
Marcelle Corday ...


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


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

25 December 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El demonio y la carne  »

Box Office


$373,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1988 sound)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Barry Paris's commentary on the 2005 DVD release, Garbo initially refused to do this film, which was scheduled for production immediately following her last picture, and also not long after the death of her sister from cancer. MGM sent her a sternly worded telegram, and she capitulated. See more »


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 »


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 »


Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1988) See more »


(1926) (uncredited)
Music by William Rose
Lyrics by S.S. Wilson
See more »

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User Reviews

A Fine Cast Makes It a Good Melodrama
4 April 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

The fine cast makes this melodrama work, and turns a rather routine plot idea into a good and sometimes memorable movie. John Gilbert and Lars Hanson are a good combination as the male leads, and Greta Garbo is convincing as always, as the woman at the center of everything. Clarence Brown's direction also contains some good touches.

Gilbert and Hanson work well as the two lifelong friends who fall in love with the same woman. Gilbert's more passionate, hot-blooded character forms a believable and interesting contrast to Hanson's innocently earnest portrayal of his loyal, unsuspecting friend. Garbo's character is treated roughly at times by the story and by some of the other characters, but she more than rises to the occasion, and as she often does, she makes what could have been a stereotyped love interest into a complex and sometimes tormented character.

Barbara Kent also does well in a smaller role, and her character (the younger sister of Hanson's character) is used effectively at some important moments that help develop the main characters. Brown adds a lighter tone to a couple of sequences when suitable, and he provides a good pace. Given the fairly simple story, it might run a bit long, but otherwise it is well-crafted and effective.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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