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The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
"All That Money Can Buy" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,062 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 40 critic

A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a compact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Ma Stone
...
Belle
...
...
Miser Stevens
...
Frank Conlan ...
Sheriff
Lindy Wade ...
Daniel Stone
George Cleveland ...
Cy Bibber
...
Mary Stone
James Craig ...
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Storyline

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 Little Pine Weasel <kristinat@cerritos.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A GREAT MOTION PICTURE DARES TO BE DIFFERENT! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Certain Mr. Scratch  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernard Herrmann's Oscar-winning musical score included recordings of the humming of telephone wires (heard when Mr. Scratch first appears to Jabez Stone in his barn), and four violin solos of Pop Goes The Weasel, recorded separately and laid over each other on the soundtrack to form a single violin solo (heard when Mr. Scratch plays his fiddle at Jabez Stone's barn dance). See more »

Goofs

When Jabez comments on the full moon, the moon shaped light in the sky is obviously not in the full moon phase. See more »

Quotes

[Webster is examing the contract Mr. Scratch has with Stone]
Daniel Webster: This appears - mind you, I say appears - to be properly drawn. But you shan't have this man. A man isn't a piece of property. Mr. Stone is an American citizen... and an American citizen cannot be forced into the service of a foreign prince.
Mr. Scratch: Foreign? Who calls me a foreigner?
Daniel Webster: Well, I never heard of the de... I never heard of you claiming American citizenship.
Mr. Scratch: And who has a better right? When the first wrong was done to the first Indian,...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tripping the Rift: The Devil and a Guy Named Webster (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Great script, great acting, great effects, it is funny, creepy and sexy.
9 January 2000 | by (Laurel, IN) – See all my reviews

What a sweet piece of work. Really good dialogue, and many well written and acted parts besides the obvious titular characters. Miser Stevens and Stone's mother were very good, and especially Simone Simon as the nursemaid/mistress. Three emotional qualities really stand out to me:

Funny: Huston as ol' Mr. Scratch was SO good. Very funny, cynical wit. Lots of little things that stand out from him, all the odd places he turns up. He's everywhere, leading the band at the parade for Dan'l, in Washington whispering in the senator's ear, playing a mean fiddle at the barn dance. His insults to Jabez Stone were priceless. The bit at the end of him ravenously devouring this huge pie was a really funny demonstration of his greed, and the final moments of examining his book for the next target are priceless.

Creepy: Between all the funny stuff were the implications of hell and damnation, but especially terror and hopelessness (Stone and Miser Stevens). The visitors at Stone's new mansion really creeped me out good. Also creepy was the infamous scene where Miser Stevens recently harvested soul comes flying out of Scratch's jacket pocket screaming for help. This also counts as funny, at least when my five year old nephew and I go around effecting high-pitched squeals begging "Help me Neighbor Stone."

Sexy: Belle, the French nanny/whore that Scratch sent Jabez was hotter with her clothes on and no direct sexual behavior than the hookers making out in the elevator to entertain Al Pacino in "The Devil's Advocate." Note the exact tone and body language of her mocking rebuff to Stone at the barn dance saying "Oh, NO Mr. Stone- your place is with your WIFE."

The hottest thing in the movie (and one of the creepiest things) is the scene where she is singing some evil otherworldly lullaby to Stone's infant son. Rewind and watch it closely a couple of times. What was she singing?

Surely this is one of the greatest forgotten movies of the era. This should be making some of those AFI top 100 list thingeys.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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