The Devil (1921 film)

The Devil is a surviving 1921 silent drama film directed by James Young and starring stage actor George Arliss in a film version of his 1908 Broadway success of Ferenc Molnár's play, The Devil (aka Az ordog) [1].[2][3] Long thought to be a lost film, a print was discovered in the 1990s and restored by the Library of Congress.

The Devil
Exhibitor's ad
Directed byJames Young
Produced byAssociated Distributors Incorporated
Harry Leonhardt
Andrew J. Callaghan
Written byEdmund Goulding
Based onplay The Devil by Ferenc Molnár[1]
CinematographyHarry Fischbeck
Distributed byAssociated Exhibitors
Release date
  • January 16, 1921 (1921-01-16)
Running time
60 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

This was George Arliss' first film following a successful career on Broadway. Arliss' wife Florence Arliss co-starred with him in the film, and continued to do so until he died in 1946. Director Young was silent screen star Clara Kimball Young's ex-husband. Future Oscar-winner Fredric March had an uncredited bit part in the film.[2]


The Devil, in the guise of a human named Dr. Muller (Arliss), meets a young couple (Marie and her fiance Georges) who remark upon looking at a Renaissance painting of a martyr that Evil could never triumph over Good. The Devil, taking this as a challenge, decides to bring about the couple's downfall. In the end, Marie resorts to the power of prayer and a shining crucifix appears that causes the Devil to disappear in a burst of flames.


Preservation status

A copy of The Devil is preserved in the Library of Congress collection and the Archives Du Film Du CNC, Bois d'Arcy.[4][5]

See also


  1. The Devil, as presented on Broadway August 1908
  2. Workman, Christopher; Howarth, Troy (2016). Tome of Terror: Horror Films of the Silent Era. Midnight Marquee Press. pp. 233–234. ISBN 978-1936168-68-2.
  3. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1893-1993: The Devil
  4. The Library of Congress/FIAF American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog: The Devil
  5. Progressive Silent Film List: The Devil at
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