Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Masks of the Devil was director Victor Seastrom's final silent film for MGM -- and his next-to-last American film before his return to Sweden. Based on a story by Jacob Wasserman, the film stars John Gilbert as Baron Reiner, who spends his entire life in pursuit of beautiful women. A ruthless, sociopathic type, the Baron has no sooner pledged eternal devotion to one damsel than he is hot on the trail of another conquest. Eventually, however, the Baron's conscience catches up with him, and in a series of scenes apparently inspired by O'Neill's Strange Interlude, the audience is permitted to see Reiner's innermost thoughts, superimposed over close-ups of the protagonist staring into his mirror. Masks of the Devil was partially designed as a showcase for Irving Thalberg's latest screen discovery, Viennese actress Eva Von Berne, of whom little was heard after the film's release.
aristocracy, Casanova, extramarital-affair, guilt, search