Apr 232012
 

Director: Carl Theodore Dreyer

RatingN/A

Running Time: 167 minutes

Release Date: 1/24/1921

GenreSilent, Historical, Mythology

Cast

Satan / The Grand Inquisitor / Erneste / Ivan (Helge Nissen)

Jesus (first sequence) (Halvard Hoff)

Judas (first sequence) (as Jacob Texière) (Jacob Texiere)

Don Gomez de Castro (second sequence) (Hallander Helleman)

Isabel, Castro’s daughter (second sequence) (Ebon Strandin)

Don Fernandez (second sequence) (Johannes Meyer)

The Majordomo (second sequence) (as Nalle Haldén) (Nalle Halden)

Marie Antoinette (third sequence) (as Tenna Frederiksen Kraft) (Tenna Kraft)

Count de Chambord (third sequence) (Viggo Wiehe)

The Countess of Chambord (third sequence) (Emma Wiehe)

Lady Genevive de Chambord (third sequence) (Jeanne Tramcourt)

Count Manuel (third sequence) (Hugo Bruun)

Joseph (third sequence) (Elith Pio)

The People’s Commissar (third sequence) (Emil Helsengreen)

Old Pitou (third sequence) (Viggo Lindstrøm)

SynopsisLong ago God places a curse on Satan as he casts him out of heaven and says that Satan is to tempt people towards evil. For every soul Satan is able to claim, Satan will receive 100 extra years of torment, but for everyone that resists, Satan’s sentence will be 1000 years less. The film follows Satan through history as he assumes many disguises and tempts people, including; Judas as he betray Jesus, a young priest during the Spanish Inquisition, a young man helping aristocrats escape during the French Revolution, and finally a woman in 1918 Finland to betray the Finnish army against the Reds to save her husband.

AnalysisLeaves from Satan’s Book reminded me of a very long and drawn out episode of Quantum Leap, but with a sad and sympathetic Satan instead of Sam. As usual God seems like a jerk while Satan wants to stop hurting people while God just won’t let him stop.

While watching this film, one must remember that is was created during the early days of film-making where the technology and techniques of filming and script writing were still being worked out and that it takes many of its cues from stage productions.

Pro:

  • Great piano soundtrack in the restored version.
  • Ivan (Helge Nissen) looks like he was based on Rasputin.
  • Handcart to the Rescue!

Con:

  • Restored, but there are still bad flaws in the print.
  • Wait two seconds before you take drastic action!

Conclusion: My great grandparents could have gone out on a date and seen this movie in the theaters. I don’t think that most modern audiences would be very entertained by the film, but if looked at like a time capsule it is very interesting.

Score: 2/5

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