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The Sorrows of Satan (1926)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 12 October 1926 (USA)
Geoffrey, a young and impoverished writer, is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his ... See full summary »


D.W. Griffith


Marie Corelli (novel), John Russell (adaptation) | 2 more credits »




Credited cast:
Adolphe Menjou ... Prince Lucio de Rimanez
Ricardo Cortez ... Geoffrey Tempest
Carol Dempster ... Mavis Claire
Lya De Putti ... Princess Olga Godovsky
Ivan Lebedeff ... Amiel
Marcia Harris ... The Landlady
Lawrence D'Orsay ... Lord Elton
Nellie Savage ... The Dancer
Dorothy Hughes Dorothy Hughes ... Mavis's Chum
Josephine Dunn ... Undetermined Secondary Role
Dorothy Nourse Dorothy Nourse ... Undetermined Secondary Role
Jean Fenwick ... Undetermined Secondary Role (as Jeanne Morgan)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nina Quartero ... Vamp


Geoffrey, a young and impoverished writer, is desperately in love with Mavis, who lives at his boardinghouse and is also pursuing a writing career. Unable to marry her because of his poverty, in his anger he curses God for abandoning him. Soon Geoffrey meets Prince Lucio de Rimanez, a wealthy, urbane gentleman who informs Geoffrey that he has inherited a fortune, but that he must place himself in the Prince's hands in order to enjoy the fruits of his inheritance. What Geoffrey doesn't know is that Prince Lucio is actually Satan, who is using Geoffrey as an experiment to show God that he can corrupt anybody. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A strictly modern epic drama of love, temptation and regeneration stupendously conceived and produced by D.W. Griffith from the book that has been read and re-read by millions. See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


New York Times review, reprinted in the Madera Tribune and Madera Mercury, Madera, California, Wednesday 26 October 1927, Volume XL, Number 148, page 2:


In referring to D. W. Griffith's great picture, "Sorrows of Satan," the New York Times writs (sic) as follows:

A film which will do well as a gold-digger and also reap no little praise from those who back really worth-while productions. Nobody can deny that Griffith, in this latest piece of work, has elicited remarkable performances from the quartet of principal players, and it probably will be conceded generally that his direction of the love scenes in an impoverished neighborhood and his work on those revealing fantastic orgies is masterful.

"In swinging from squalor to pomp, depicting wretchedness on one side and passionate orgies on the other Mr. Griffith reveals himself a master, and in this present offering he has made a photodrama that excels anything he has done in recent years.

"It is a marvelously beautiful film in which Mr. Griffith has obtained some gorgeous lighting effects.

"The producer draws his contrasts splendidly, revelry being depicted with its wontons and sordid tastes, and then the gentle love of Mavis for Tempest.

"There are vistas in the scenes of reckless luxury that challenge the most discriminating eye. Bright lights glisten during some periods and then soft shadows drift across the beflowered halls. Women, dressed none to extensively, are beheld in a variety of poses.

"Adolphe Menjou is remarkably fine as the Prince who enjoys the ruin of his victims. He is distinctive, all most gentle in setting forth his temptations. Carol Dempster's acting is something exceptional. She imbues the part with pathos and eagerness. She presents the portrait of undying hope, and not even in "Isn't Life Wonderful?" did she give an idea of the talent she displays in this new film. Lya de Putti depicts the siren with a sinuous ease, denoting by her half-closed eyes the nature of the Princess. Another remarkable characterization is that of Ricardo Cortez in the role of Tempest." - N.Y. Times See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Demons (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Carol Dempster's finest performance
24 December 2000 | by jjcreminSee all my reviews

This movie is available from Grapevine Video. Only two of the three films that Griffith did for Paramount exist, the only being "Sally of the Sawdust", that co-starred W.C. Fields. This one has Adolpe Menjou making an interesting entrance and exit as a well-dressed Prince of Darkness. Top billed, he actually has less footage than Ricardo Cortez or Carol Dempster, the actress Griffith really tried to make a star; she starred in almost all 1920's Griffith films up to this point and would vanish from the film scene much more effectively than Garbo would or could after this. Lillian Gish she wasn't. Actually, her pretty but not very beautiful looks help with the story of Cortez being dazzled with the fetes that Menjou takes him to. He actually even marries somebody else, played by Lya De Puti. The plot with this is somewhat ridiculous. However, Griffith's cross-cutting of the fetes and Dempster's loneliness is very effective. I really liked the showing of newspaper slowly covering the meal that Cortez was supposed to show up to and of she pretending he was there. (Echos of Chaplin's similar scene in "The Gold Rush".) I had much more fun watching "America" and "Isn't Life Wonderful", two other and the better known Griffith-Dempster films. But enjoyed Dempster more in this one.

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None | English

Release Date:

12 October 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sorrows of Satan See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Island, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$971,260 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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