6.8/10
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Leaves From Satan's Book (1920)

Blade af Satans bog (original title)
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:

Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl Th. Dreyer)

Writers:

Edgar Høyer (scenario by), Marie Corelli (from a novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helge Nissen Helge Nissen ... Satan / The Grand Inquisitor / Erneste / Ivan
Halvard Hoff Halvard Hoff ... Jesus (first sequence)
Jacob Texiere Jacob Texiere ... Judas (first sequence) (as Jacob Texière)
Hallander Helleman Hallander Helleman ... Don Gomez de Castro (second sequence)
Ebon Strandin ... Isabel - Castro's Daughter (second sequence)
Johannes Meyer Johannes Meyer ... Don Fernandez (second sequence)
Nalle Halden Nalle Halden ... The Majordomo (second sequence) (as Nalle Haldén)
Tenna Kraft Tenna Kraft ... Marie Antoinette (third sequence) (as Tenna Frederiksen Kraft)
Viggo Wiehe Viggo Wiehe ... Count de Chambord (third sequence)
Emma Wiehe Emma Wiehe ... The Countess of Chambord (third sequence)
Jeanne Tramcourt Jeanne Tramcourt ... Lady Genevive de Chambord (third sequence)
Hugo Bruun Hugo Bruun ... Count Manuel (third sequence)
Elith Pio Elith Pio ... Joseph (third sequence)
Emil Helsengreen Emil Helsengreen ... The People's Commissar (third sequence)
Viggo Lindstrøm 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:

Denmark

Release Date:

24 January 1921 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Leaves From Satan's Book See more »

Filming Locations:

Kagerup, Denmark

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nordisk Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | | (2004 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Alternate Versions

In 2004, the Film Preservation Associates, Inc. copyrighted a version with a new piano music score by . It was produced for video by and runs 121 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Carl Th. Dreyer: My Métier (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Finlandia Op.26
(1898) (uncredited)
Written by Jean Sibelius
Played in the 2004 alternate version score in the fourth sequence (set in Finland)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Ambitious Danish Epic about Evil Temptation through Time
12 October 2014 | by claudio_carvalhoSee 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")


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