Leaves Out of the Book of Satan (Blade af Satans bog)(Leaves from Satan's Book)

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User Ratings: 448
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Movie Info

The Danish Leaves From Satan's Book (Blad af Satans Bog) was the "breakthrough" picture for filmmaker Carl Thedor Dreyer, who was elevated from a local talent to a director of international renown. The content of the film is implicit in the title: we are witness to the power of Evil through the ages, linked together by images of turning pages. In its multi-storied construction, the film is obviously beholden to D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916). Some of the vignettes, especially the Spanish Inquisition scenes, are both beautiful and repulsive; we marvel at Dreyer's brilliant visual sense, even as we have the impulse to avert our eyes. Though a worldwide success, Leaves From Satan's Book cost too much to suit the tastes of the parsimonious Danish film industry, compelling Dreyer to work in other countries throughout most of the silent era. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Leaves Out of the Book of Satan (Blade af Satans bog)(Leaves from Satan's Book)

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (4)

Audience Reviews for Leaves Out of the Book of Satan (Blade af Satans bog)(Leaves from Satan's Book)

  • Oct 13, 2014
    Dreyer's third film, his cinematic breakthrough, is overlong, a bit prosaic and doesn't offer much in terms of narrative, but his stellar mise-en-scène and George Schnéevoigt's cinematography make every stunning shot worthy of being framed and put on a wall in any museum.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2013
    This film does not live up to its sensational title, but Carl Theodor Dreyer ("The Passion of Joan of Arc") crafts an interesting look at Satanic temptation. Separated into four parts a la D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance," the film spans stories from Christ's time, the Spanish Inquisition, the French Revolution and Dreyer's own era. Satan (Helge Nissen, in his only screen role) is portrayed as a weary pawn of God who's ambivalent about his evil work but forced to carry on in hopes of shortening his banishment. In each tale, Satan adopts human form and conspires to tempt a virtuous person into betraying his or her peers. The fourth segment (set in Russia-occupied Finland) lacks universality and the sins of Judas have been depicted better countless times, but the middle sections fare better. In the second part, a priest weighs loyalties to the Church and his forbidden romantic love, while the third finds the fates of Marie Antoinette and a (fictional?) countess and daughter resting on the moral quandary of a well-meaning servant.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2012
    I understood what this movie was wanting the audience to understand with just watching the first couple of stories, but then it just keeps going on and on telling more stories that are exactly the same, and you just get bored with it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2011
    Boy was I disappointed, I thought this was going to be really cool, but it was basically like the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy for the Devil" except it isn't totally awesome.
    Marion R Super Reviewer

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