The Sorrows of Satan (film)

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The Sorrows of Satan
Directed by D.W. Griffith
Written by Forrest Halsey
George C. Hull
John Russell
Based on The Sorrows of Satan
by Marie Corelli
Starring Adolphe Menjou
Ricardo Cortez
Carol Dempster
Lya De Putti
Ivan Lebedeff
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld
Cinematography Harry A. Fischbeck
Edited by Julian Johnson
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 12, 1926 (1926-10-12)
Running time
111 min.
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles

The Sorrows of Satan (1926) is a silent film by D. W. Griffith based on the novel The Sorrows of Satan by Marie Corelli. At this point in his career Griffith had given up his independent filmmaker status by joining Paramount Pictures.

A previous version of Corelli's story had been filmed in England during World War I.[1][2] Reportedly Griffith did not want to do this project, but as his first Paramount assignment he was not given a choice. Remarkably, however, the film turned out to be one of Griffith's most fully realized works and its critical stock has risen considerably in the last several decades. This was Carol Dempster's final screen role.


Adolphe Menjou stars as Prince Lucio de Rimanez, who is in fact really Satan assuming a human form. When struggling writer Geoffrey Tempest (Ricardo Cortez) is moved to curse God for his misfortunes, Prince Lucio makes a sudden appearance, informing Tempest that he has inherited a fortune. The only proviso is that Tempest must place his fate entirely in the Prince's hands. As he ascends to the uppermost rungs of European society, Tempest is ordered by Lucio to marry Russian Princess Olga (Lya De Putti), even though the writer still loves his sweetheart Mavis Claire (Carol Dempster). Eventually, Prince Lucio reveals his true identity, but not before Olga has committed suicide. After rejecting the devil and all his false promises, Tempest lives happily ever after with Mavis.


This movie, like The Queen of Sheba and Ben-Hur, was released in a different edit in Europe concerning nudity. The American version of The Sorrows of Satan had Lya de Putti's character play a nightclub scene with enough attire to pass the censors. In the European version, Griffith shot the nightclub scene with de Putti bare breasted.


Actor Role
Adolphe Menjou Prince Lucio de Rimanez
Ricardo Cortez Geoffrey Tempest
Carol Dempster Mavis Claire
Lya De Putti Princess Olga
Ivan Lebedeff Amiel


External links[edit]