Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer ... See full summary »
A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to ... See full summary »
19 years after President Timothy Keegan was assassinated, his brother Nick discovers a dying man claiming to have been the gunman. While trying to avoid his wealthy and domineering father's... See full summary »
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A down-on-his-luck farmer makes a deal with the devil for seven years of prosperity. When Mr. Scratch comes to collect, orator and hero of the common man Daniel Webster comes to the rescue. Based on the short story by Stephen Vincent Benet. Also known as "All That Money Can Buy." Written by
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Prints that have been made under the title "The Devil and Daniel Webster" also say "Originally released as 'All That Money Can Buy' ", indicating that this was the film's original title. See more »
The young boy who climbs onto Daniel Webster's carriage to see if Webster has horns and a tail tells Webster that his name is Martin Van Buren Aldrich, son of the only Democrat in town. Obviously, he is supposed to have been named after President Martin Van Buren, a Democrat. However, the chronology of this doesn't add up. This scene takes place in 1840, which was Van Buren's last full year in office in his single four-year term as President (1837-1841). The child is clearly about 12 or so (actor Sonny Bupp, who played the role, was 13 at the time of filming). It is almost inconceivable in these circumstances that a man in New Hampshire would have named his son after Martin Van Buren since, at the approximate time of the boy's birth in the late 1820s, Van Buren was a successful but still relatively obscure politician who would have been little known and of no particular consequence to anyone living outside his home state of New York. See more »
Why would someone who has thoroughly enjoyed movies such as "Judge Dredd" and "Wild at Heart" consider this to be "my favorite movie"?
One word - "fantasy". It's my favorite movie category, and this is the best one that I've ever seen. The 1940s was the decade in which horror melodramas and fantasies really began to ramp up, and this movie helped to set the standard. Stephen Vincent Benet's story is a bit changed, but not enough to diminish this American Gothic tale.
Aside from being superior entertainment, the movie simply has no weaknesses. Where to start? The casting and acting are extraordinary. Though both are most often remembered for other movies, Edward Arnold and Walter Huston turn in their best performances here. Simone Simon (known today for the "Cat People" movies) is exceptional as Belle. Anne Shirley, James Craig, and the stellar supporting cast are also great.
This is Bernard Herrmann's best film score. William Dieterle's direction is quirky and involving, propelling the film along at a fast clip. Admittably, the characters are caricatures, but Dieterle helps us to feel their trials and tribulations. The movie also features brilliant cinematography, exceptional production values, and truly superior editing (this was an early job for director Robert Wise). The scenes are quite stagey, but never disjointed - the logic of the story is unmistakable and riveting.
Huston is the ultimate "Mr. Scratch". I've seen this show many times, and it's a 10/10.
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