~Flesh and the Devil~
1926
Directed by: Clarence Brown

Written by:
Benjamin Glazer - screen play
Marian Ainslee - titles
Hanns Kräly (uncredited)
Frederica Sagor Maas

Based on the novel "The Undying Past" by Hermann Sudermann
~Cast~

John Gilbert ... Leo von Harden
Greta Garbo ... Felicitas
Lars Hanson ... Ulrich von Eltz
Barbara Kent ... Hertha
William Orlamond ... Uncle Kutowski
George Fawcett ... Pastor Voss
Eugenie Besserer ... Leo's Mother
Marc McDermott ... Count von Rhaden
Marcelle Corday ... Minna
Margie Angus ... Twin (uncredited)
Max Barwyn ... Ball Guest (uncredited)     
Frankie Darro ... Boy Who Dances with Hertha (uncredited)
Philippe De Lacy ... Leo as a Boy (uncredited)
Virginia Marshall ... Hertha as a Girl (uncredited)
Polly Moran ... Family Retainer with Bouquet (uncredited)
Maurice Murphy ... Ulrich as a Boy (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Family Retainer with Flag (uncredited)
Carl 'Major' Roup ... Train Station Vendor (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Womens' Hat Salesman (uncredited)
Bert Sprotte ... Sergeant Major (uncredited)
Ellinor Vanderveer ... Ball Guest (uncredited)
Glen Walters ... Family Retainer (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Produced Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Produced by: Irving Thalberg
Cinematography by: William H. Daniels
Film Editing by: Lloyd Nosler
Set Decoration by: Fredric Hope
Production Manager: Liz Sutherland
Assistant Director: Charles Dorian
Settings: Cedric Gibbons
Still Photographer: Buddy Longworth
Publicity Photographer: Ruth Harriet Louise
Wardrobe: André-ani

Length: 9 Reels
Runtime: 112 Minutes
Released: December 25, 1926
~Plot Synopsis~
A bulky, verbose novel by Herman Suderman was the source for the exquisitely silent Flesh and the
Devil. On leave from the Austrian army, lifelong friends John Gilbert and Lars Hanson return to their
loving families. At a reception in Hanson's honor, Gilbert makes the acquaintance of the hauntingly
beautiful Greta Garbo, whom he'd previously glimpsed for a few fleeting seconds at the railway depot.
Those few seconds were enough to thoroughly captivate Gilbert, thus paving the way for a feverish
sexual liaison with Garbo. Gilbert is shocked to discover that Garbo is married to aristocrat Marc
MacDermott, who challenges Gilbert to a duel--on the proviso that the "official" reason for their
argument is a disagreement at cards, so that McDermott will suffer no disgrace. Gilbert kills the
husband on the field of honor; as punishment for his unmilitary conduct, he is "invited" to accept a
post in Africa. Honoring his promise to the late McDermott, Gilbert reveals his love of Garbo to no
one, not even his dearest friend Hanson. As he departs for his five-year exile, Gilbert asks Hanson to
look after the "bereaved" Garbo. Pardoned after three years, Gilbert returns home, only to discover
that Garbo has remarried--to Hanson. Minister George Fawcett, evidently the only person to know of
Gilbert's tryst with Garbo, advises Gilbert to give up his friendship with Hanson so as to avoid the
temptation of cuckolding his best friend. But when Hanson falls seriously ill, Garbo begs Gilbert to
renew the friendship. He does so, not suspecting that Garbo merely wants to trap him in her web
again. Gilbert is caught in a compromising position by the distraught Hanson; he regretfully
challenges Gilbert to a duel, to be fought on their favorite childhood playing site, "The Island of
Friendship". As Hanson nervously aims his weapon at the repentant, unresisting Gilbert, he realizes
that he can't go through with the duel. The two friends embrace, begging one another's
forgiveness...while Garbo, who has belatedly headed across the frozen lake to prevent the duel,
comes to an icy end. While the overly intense "male bonding" between John Gilbert and Lars Hanson
tends to evoke knowing chuckles when seen today, Flesh and the Devil otherwise holds up quite well.
Clarence Brown's innovative directorial touches still seem fresh after years of imitation by lesser
talents. Ostensibly a John Gilbert vehicle (he receives sole over-the-title billing), Flesh is utterly
dominated through sheer force of personality by the divine Garbo; in anyone else's hands, her
enigmatic, impulse-driven temptress would have been just another cardboard vixen.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
~282-118: Lars
Hanson, Greta
Garbo and John
Gilbert~
~Barbara Kent,
John Gilbert, Greta
Garbo & Lars
Hanson~
~282-10: Lars
Hanson and John
Gilbert~
~282-31: Barbara Kent & John
Gilbert~
~282-40: Greta
Garbo & John
Gilbert~
~282-83: Greta
Garbo & John
Gilbert~
~282-150: Greta
Garbo, John Gilbert
and Lars Hanson~