3.4/10
212
11 user 6 critic

The Devil's Daughter (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Horror | 7 December 1939 (USA)
Sylvia Walton returns from Harlem to take over a Jamaican plantation from her vindictive half-sister, amid the growing sound of drums.

Director:

(as Arthur Leonard)

Writer:

(story) (as George W. Terwilliger)
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Devil's Daughter (TV Movie 1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young girl whose mother had sold her soul to Satan when she was born is told by Satan that she must marry a fellow demon.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Stars: Shelley Winters, Belinda Montgomery, Robert Foxworth
Hallelujah (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William Fountaine
Safe in Hell (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde
Gang War (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Two mobs fight for control of the jukebox racket.

Director: Leo C. Popkin
Stars: Ralph Cooper, Gladys Snyder, Reginald Fenderson
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An American occult novelist battles to save the soul of a young girl from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest, who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on Earth.

Director: Peter Sykes
Stars: Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Honor Blackman
Dark Waters (1944)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A woman returns to the USA after a German u-boat sank her ship, and finds out that someone wants to kill her for her inheritance.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Merle Oberon, Franchot Tone, Thomas Mitchell
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

During a stormy night at an old dark mansion, people who claim to see ghosts roaming the halls are later found murdered.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: John Miljan, June Collyer, Richard Carle
Pinky (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

God, heaven, and several Old Testament stories, including the Creation and Noah's Ark, are described supposedly using the perspective of rural, black Americans.

Directors: Marc Connelly, William Keighley
Stars: Rex Ingram, Oscar Polk, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Arthur H. Leonard
Stars: Jack Carter, Pearl Bains, James Baskett
Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A crooked real estate tycoon tricks a trusting young woman out of her small candy store. When he is found dead, the girl is suspected of the crime.

Director: Jack Kemp
Stars: Hilda Offley, Sheila Guyse, Kenneth Freeman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Henri Decoin
Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Ledoux, Thérèse Dorny
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jack Carter ...
Philip Ramsay
Ida James ...
Sylvia Walton
Hamtree Harrington ...
Percy Jackson
Willa Mae Lang ...
Elvira
Emmett 'Babe' Wallace ...
John Lowden (as Emmett Wallace)
Leon Lee ...
Narrator (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Sylvia Walton of Harlem inherits a Jamaican banana plantation and returns to manage it. Since her arrival, there's been no sign of her disinherited half-sister Isabelle, who ran the plantation until their father's death. But Sylvia, her two rival suitors, and her comic- relief servant Percy are disturbed by the constant, growing sound of drums. Meanwhile, in hiding, Isabelle schemes to regain her former place by manipulating local 'obeah' superstition. All-black cast. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sister against Sister IN A BURNING DRAMA OF LOVE AND HATE IN THE TROPICS! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daughter of the Isle of Jamaica  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original release)

Sound Mix:

(Variray Blue Seal Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Like the other releases from Sack Amusement, this film featured an "all colored cast" and was booked into theaters that catered almost exclusively to black audiences. See more »

Goofs

When Isabelle Walton (Nina Mae McKinney) tells Percy Jackson (Hamtree Harrington) that she is transferring his soul to a pig, she refers to the pig as "he" - but she's holding the pig upside down and its nipples are clearly visible, showing that the pig is female. See more »

Connections

Remake of Ouanga (1936) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Yes, folks, the movie sucks....
1 March 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the early days of cinema before movie theaters were integrated, black film patrons were eager for films about their community and with black actors. Sadly, however, the production companies making these films (such as Sack--which probably should have been called 'Suck') had minuscule budgets, very inexperienced actors and film makers and generally were quite substandard. While this was not always the case, most of these films I have seen are pretty bad--and considering what the film makers were up against you could certainly understand why. But what I cannot adequately understand is how some of these films ("The Devil's Daughter" is one of them at times) are amazingly racist when seen today--confirming some of white society's preconceptions at the time about the inferiority of blacks! In this particular film, the smart blacks who have good social standing are all lighter-skinned and the darker-skinned actors are often there for comic relief--much like the characters played by the likes of Steppin' Fetchit and Mantan Moreland. Plus the whole voodoo angle certainly is not a great image for black America! From a sociological and historical point of view, it IS very interesting. But it also makes this particular film age horribly...and rather sad.

A black lady from America inherits a family plantation in Jamaica and doesn't realize the dangers involved. There are voodoo practitioners and Haitians on the island who are in league with the devil! In many ways, this film is like the grandfather of later blaxsploitation films like "Sugar Hill" and "Blacula"--but with a much, much smaller budget. Can her incredibly light-skinned boyfriend save her or is she destined to join the side of evil? In the end, there is a surprise twist...not that anyone cares.

Is this a good film? Well, to put it bluntly, NOPE! The currently abysmal score on IMDb (placing it in the bottom 10 for all films from the 1930s) is well earned. Bad acting, scenes that should have been re-short but weren't (they probably could not afford additional film stock) and a dreary pace manage to sink this movie. For example, though the film is set in Haiti, not one person has a Jamaican or Creole (Haitian) accent. And, when the actors do talk, they often stumble over the words--and they sound like they are reading cue cards! Another sad example is the fist fight--it looked almost like it was done in slow motion--presumably because the actors were taking great care not to actually hurt each other! Plus too many scenes of people dancing, having cock fights (insert own tawdry joke) and the like really bog this film down to a crawl.

I'd say this film is even worse than many in the genre--including the somewhat unfairly maligned "Harlem on the Prairie" (the book "The 50 Worst Movies of All Time" considered the worst black production of this pre-integration era). Too much meaningless footage and dullness make this anything other than a curio--and you'd think voodoo and possession would at least be interesting! If you are curious about seeing it, it's on a DVD from Alpha Video (along with another terrible film "Chloe")--just be forewarned that the condition of the print, like many of Alpha's, is very, very poor.


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

Message Boards

Discuss The Devil's Daughter (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?