The character of Satan has been explored repeatedly in American films, although neither film nor religion scholars have extensively investigated the topic. This article examines the medieval Christian roots of Satan as seen in American cinema and proposes that the most identifiable difference between the medieval Devil and the Satan shown in American films is his level of power over humanity. Hollywood's Satans echo medieval depictions of Satan in form, appearance, and ways of interacting with humans. Although less frightening, pop culture's view of Satan - even when he is treated humorously - is thus linked through movies to medieval religious beliefs.
Wyman, Kelly J.
"The Devil We Already Know: Medieval Representations of a Powerless Satan in Modern American Cinema,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 8
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol8/iss3/7