The Devil to Pay! (1930)

TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  20 December 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 274 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Spendthrift Willie Leyland again returns to the family home in London penniless. His father is none too pleased but Willie smooth-talks him into letting him stay. At the same time he turns ... See full summary »


(as Geo. Fitzmaurice)


(story), (screen adaptation)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Frederick Kerr ...
Lord Leland
Dorothy Hope
David Torrence ...
Mr. Hope
Florence Britton ...
Susan Hale
Mary Crayle
Grand Duke Paul
Crauford Kent ...
Arthur (as Crawford Kent)


Spendthrift Willie Leyland again returns to the family home in London penniless. His father is none too pleased but Willie smooth-talks him into letting him stay. At the same time he turns the charm on Dorothy Hope, whose father is big in linoleum and who, before Willie's arrival, was about to become engaged to a Russian aristocrat. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance






Release Date:

20 December 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fræk og frimodig  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film's original director was Irving Cummings with Dorothy being played by Constance Cummings. After some scenes were shot, George Fitzmaurice replaced Cummings as director, and Loretta Young took over the role of Dorothy, with all previous scenes re-shot. See more »


Boom microphone shadow is unmistakable in a number of in a number of interior scenes toward the beginning of the film. See more »


Lord Leland: Here it is half-past nine and not a sign of him.
Dorothy Hope: Have you called the police?
Lord Leland: Do you know Master Willie?
Dorothy Hope: No, I've never met him.
Lord Leland: Well, if you had, you'd know telephoning a policeman's wife would be more effective.
See more »


I Belong to Everybody
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
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User Reviews

Another thoroughly enjoyable early Ronald Colman talkie
9 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ronald Coleman had been a star of the screen for several years when talkies came in, and what a boost it was to his career. His Oxford English accent is so enthralling I could listen to him recite the farmer's almanac and not be bored.

Coleman plays Willie Hale, a 30ish playboy from a wealthy family who spends his time womanizing and gambling. Yet, he's a likable rogue - not only likable from the standpoint of the audience but by family and friends too. He has yet again gone broke due to his constant gambling and sells off his possessions in a foreign location to settle his debts and provide passage back home to England. When he gets there, he at first is met by a father who insists he'll kick him out - he's had it with Willie and his layabout ways. However, five minutes alone in a room with Willie and his charm, and Willie is not only forgiven by dad, dad has given him one hundred pounds to boot.

Willie then goes for a day's recreation with his sister and her friend, Dorothy Hope (Loretta Young). Dorothy is set to be engaged to the Grand Duke Paul that very night, mainly just because her dad wants royalty in the family, and there is nobody else special in her life. That changes after her day with Willie, and soon there is a scandal brewing as Dorothy refuses to go through with the marriage as planned.

Ronald Coleman is always a delight to watch in these early talking films he did for Sam Goldwyn where he is playing the confident adventurer or cad or both. He has a demeanor akin to Errol Flynn, but he is unable to display Flynn's physical agility due to a disabling wound he received during World War I. However, what he lacks in physical agility Coleman always made up in agility of soul. Loretta Young, only 17 when this picture was made, shows the beginning of her trademark sweet girl that can erupt into a ball of fire when the occasion calls for it. Myrna Loy plays Willie's girl from the past - Mary Crayle - a showgirl. Here Myrna is still playing a part similar to the exotic vamp parts she got stuck with so often over at Warner Brothers when she was a contract player from 1926 until shortly before this movie was made in 1930.

This is pretty much a light and breezy romantic comedy from start to finish. If you're in a mood for the kind of escapist entertainment that lightened the hearts of audiences during the Great Depression, this little film fits the bill.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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