THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

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drednm

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THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

PostSun Feb 07, 2010 10:31 pm

I thought this was a terrific film. It's not like anything else DW Griffith directed. It's stark and moody, with great lighting effects. The pacing is slow but it works. At 90 minutes I'm not sure what's been cut since I think this was a longer film in 1926. The special effects ending is seemingly lost.

Adolphe Menjou plays the devil in his usual suave way and has a few terrific entrances and exits as he changes shape. Ricardo Cortez is excellent as the failed writer who invokes the devil and a life of wealth. Carol Dempster is also excellent as the pathetic Mavis whose turning to god in a fit of depression has wider consequences than she realizes. Lya de Putti moves like a spider through this film, vamping in all directions in her webby sparkly gowns.

The film is filled with great touches and scenes, beautifully lit. The interior sets of the mansion and night club are quite sumptuous. My copy has a hideous score tacked on.

Has anyone else seen this one?
Ed Lorusso
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silentfilm

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PostSun Feb 07, 2010 10:49 pm

So is Raymond Griffith actually in this film? The IMDB and another website list him, but I think it a mistake due to the same last name. But he was working at Paramount in 1926, so it is always a possibility.
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Gagman 66

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PostMon Feb 08, 2010 12:16 am

Bruce,

:? Is this film owned by Paramount, or is it Public Domain? Do you know?

Ed,

I have only seen the first 5 minutes or so. That was sometime ago already. Intresting comments.
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drednm

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PostMon Feb 08, 2010 5:56 am

I don't see Raymond Griffith listed on IMDb. I suppose he could have been in the nightclub scene... My copy is about C quality but I think I would have noticed him. Ivan Lebedev and Josephine Dunn are noticeable.

I notice on ebay there is a VHS copy for sale and lists running time at 111 minutes.
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Christopher Jacobs

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PostMon Feb 08, 2010 1:20 pm

I do not dislike THE SORROWS OF SATAN, which is an interesting if not completely successful attempt by Griffith to bring his style and themes to a studio product. It looks essentially like a Cecil B. DeMille picture directed by D. W. Griffith (and, actually, it is!), which is why it's not quite like any of Griffith's other films. I wouldn't mind seeing it again in a good print with a good score (I think I saw it in 35mm at a film convention), but for late Griffith features I think THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES is much better at being both a Griffith picture and a late 1920s studio mass audience product. Unfortunately critics and audiences of the time didn't agree!

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silentfilm

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PostMon Feb 08, 2010 10:53 pm

That's great! The IMDB removed Raymond Griffith from the cast. I was pretty sure he was not involved, but I had not seen the film to confirm it.

Unfortunately the damage has already been done, since a Google search of "Sorrows of Satan" and "Raymond Griffith" turns up 1900 hits, since the IMDB sells their database to so many websites.
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drednm

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PostTue Feb 09, 2010 6:24 am

IMDb used to make corrections but in the last year they have ignored every attempt of mine to correct cast lists or add to cast lists. Oh well.
Ed Lorusso
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Sorrows Of Satan (1926)

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 12:13 pm

Does anyone know where to watch "Sorrows"? I cant find anything except an unwatchable tape transfer on archive.org. Is there an out of print Alpha or Grapevine release that I cant find for some reason? I've heard so much about it but its seems impossible to find.
Film Writer, Director, Actor, Historian, and Bespectacled Young Man.
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Re: THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

PostTue Mar 21, 2017 10:59 am

From a Paramount release calendar:

Image
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!
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Mike Gebert

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Re: THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

PostTue Mar 21, 2017 1:03 pm

If you search Sorrows of Satan DVD you find a number of grey market sources. How good are they? Who knows? But they exist.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Re: THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 10:10 am

A collector friend of mine ran his 16mm print of SOS for me about 35 years ago. The image quality was quite good but the film was boring. My recollection, which I commented on as I watched it, was that each scene ran on much too long as if it were unedited. After character and story points were made, the scene dragged on. This happened scene after scene. I would like to see it again in good-looking image quality but my expectations are very low.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 10:36 am

I think that's a fair assessment. 20 minutes cut from it throughout would yield a much better picture. That said, it is a treat to look at, certainly Griffith's artiest film visually, covering up the fact that it's pretty routine Victorian melodrama stuff (his reputation for such is by no means unjustified). It would be worth waiting for a good print, as that it's clearest virtue.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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Saint-Just

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Re: THE SORROWS OF SATAN (1926)

PostSat Mar 25, 2017 7:24 pm

Griffith sorely needed a really good editor; he himself was terrible at it.

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