De duivel in Amsterdam


The devil, surrounded by flames, leaves hell and goes to earth where, in human form, his aim is to make people unhappy and cause evil to triumph over good. Disguised as a gardener, a plumber and a gentleman, he roams through Amsterdam in search of prey. He meets Thérèse, talented but poor, whose uprightness and purity hinder him. He sees a rich banker, Van Rijn, and his protégé and good friend, a young painter. Bringing these three people together and destroying them will be the devil's task.

He gets the banker to employ Thérèse, first as piano teacher and then as governess to his little daughter. Thérèse and the painter meet and fall in love, but the painter has to go to Paris to study. The devil continues his work by causing an accident in which Van Rijn's child is run over by an automobile. The devil whispers to the old man that he can relieve his loneliness by marrying the governess. Thérèse he advises to accept Van Rijn's proposal, insinuating that in Paris the painter is leading a gay life.

In Paris the devil arrives at the painter's studio just as a letter comes from Van Rijn announcing his impending marriage. At the devil's instigation, the painter seeks diversion in gambling dens and in the arms of his model Mizzi, but eventually his better self makes him decide to return to Amsterdam. The meeting of the former lovers is painful, but they are both able to control their feelings. The devil whispers into Van Rijn's ear that he must be careful about bringing his wife and his young friend together. He must put them to the test and observe what happens. When the young people meet again they confess that they still love each other, whereupon the jealous banker shoots his protégé dead. In triumph, the devil claims his three victims and descends with them to the underworld.


original title
De duivel in Amsterdam
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Technical notations

original length
Black & White


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 179-180

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