The Sorrows of Satan
is a silent film
by D.W. Griffith
released in 1926
. The film is based on the novel of the same name
by Marie Corelli
. At this point in his career Griffith had given up his independent filmmaker status by joining Paramount Pictures
. Reportedly the director did not want to helm this project, but as his first Paramount assignment he wasn't given a choice. Remarkably, however, the film turned out to be one of Griffith's most fully realized works and it's critical stock has risen considerably in the last several decades.
This was Carol Dempster
's final screen role.
stars as Prince Lucio de Rimanez, in the film it is apparent that to the audience that he's really Satan
. When struggling writer Ricardo Cortez is moved to curse God for his misfortunes, Prince Lucio makes a sudden appearance, informing Cortez that he's inherited a fortune. The only proviso is that Cortez must place his fate entirely in the Prince's hands. As he ascends to the uppermost rungs of European society, Cortez is ordered by Lucio to marry Russian
princess Lya DePutti, even though the writer still loves his pre-wealth sweetheart Carol Dempster. Eventually, Prince Lucio reveals his true satanic identity, but not before Lya has taken her own life. By rejecting the Devil and all his false promises, Cortez is permitted a happily-ever-after with Dempster.