Sacred and Profane Love (film)

Sacred and Profane Love is a 1921 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures. This film was directed by William Desmond Taylor and starred Elsie Ferguson with Conrad Nagel. It is based on a book The Book of Carlotta by Arnold Bennett and was turned into a 1920 Broadway play which also starred Elsie Ferguson. Writer/director Julia Crawford Ivers adapted the book and play to the screen while her son James Van Trees served as one of the film's cinematographers. All known copies of this film are lost.[1][2]

Sacred and Profane Love
Poster with Nagel and Ferguson
Directed byWilliam Desmond Taylor
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse Lasky
Written byJulia Crawford Ivers
Based onThe Book of Carlotta
by Arnold Bennett
StarringElsie Ferguson
Conrad Nagel
CinematographyTed D. McCord
James Van Trees
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 22, 1921 (1921-05-22)
Running time
5 to 6 reels
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film publication summary,[3] Carlotta Peel (Ferguson), brought up by a maiden aunt with maiden ideas, secretly attends a concert by Emilie Diaz (Nagel). After the concert she meets the pianist and later succumbs to the strains of "Samson and Delilah" played by Emilie. Carlotta spends the night with Emilie and returns home the next morning to find her aunt dead. She does not see Emilie again, and after several years she is a well known novelist who is loved by her publisher, Frank Ispenlove (Holding). The publisher's wife Mary (Greenwood) commits suicide because of her husband's affair with Carlotta. Frank then kills himself. After some time Carlotta finds Emilie living in Paris, a morphine addict, originally prescribed for his tremors. She nurses him back to health and his musical gift is restored. She is now happy with her first love.



  1. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, 1971
  2. Sacred and Profane Love as produced on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre, February 23, 1920 to May 1920, 88 performances;
  3. "Sacred and Profane Love: Adoption of Well Known Stage Play Is Disappointing". Film Daily. New York City: Wyd's Films and Film Folks, Inc. 16 (24): 11. Apr 24, 1921. Retrieved 2014-03-19.

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