IMDb > The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
All That Money Can Buy
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The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) More at IMDbPro »All That Money Can Buy (original title)

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The Devil and Daniel Webster -- Jabez Stone is a hard-working farmer trying to make an honest living, but a streak of bad luck tempts him to bargain with the Devil himself. For seven years of good fortune, Stone promises "Mr. Scratch" his soul when the contract ends. When the troubled farmer realizes his mistake, he enlists the aid of the one man who might save him: the legendary orator and politician Daniel Webster.
The Devil and Daniel Webster -- US Home Video Trailer from Warner Home Video

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Stephen Vincent Benet (story)
Dan Totheroh (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Devil and Daniel Webster on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 October 1941 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A GREAT MOTION PICTURE DARES TO BE DIFFERENT! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a compact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
American Gothic See more (49 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Edward Arnold ... Daniel Webster

Walter Huston ... Mr. Scratch

Jane Darwell ... Ma Stone

Simone Simon ... Belle

Gene Lockhart ... Squire Slossum

John Qualen ... Miser Stevens

H.B. Warner ... Justice John Hathorne
Frank Conlan ... Sheriff
Lindy Wade ... Daniel Stone
George Cleveland ... Cy Bibber

Anne Shirley ... Mary Stone
James Craig ... Jabez Stone
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Austin ... Spectator (uncredited)
Walter Baldwin ... Hank (uncredited)
Eddie Borden ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Hazel Boyne ... Woman (uncredited)
Sonny Bupp ... Martin Van Buren Aldrich (uncredited)
Bob Burns ... Townsman (uncredited)
Horace B. Carpenter ... Jabez Stone's Guest at Party (uncredited)
Tex Cooper ... Townsman (uncredited)

Jeff Corey ... Tom Sharp (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Eli Higgins (uncredited)
Joan Delmer ... Young Girl (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Farmer (uncredited)
Patricia Doyle ... Servant (uncredited)
Robert Dudley ... Lem (uncredited)
Charles Herzinger ... Old Farmhand (uncredited)
Harry Hood ... Tailor (uncredited)
Harry Humphrey ... Reverend (uncredited)
Payne B. Johnson ... Boy (uncredited)
Anita Lee ... Infant (uncredited)

Thomas Mitchell ... Daniel Webster in some long shots (uncredited)

Robert Pittard ... Clerk (uncredited)
June Preston ... Little Blonde Girl (uncredited)
Stewart Richards ... Doctor (uncredited)
Sherman Sanders ... Caller (uncredited)
Carl Stockdale ... Van Brooks (uncredited)
Robert Strange ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Jim Toney ... Farmer (uncredited)
Virginia Williams ... Baby (uncredited)

Directed by
William Dieterle 
 
Writing credits
Stephen Vincent Benet  story "The Devil and Daniel Webster" &
Dan Totheroh  screenplay and
Stephen Vincent Benet  screenplay

Produced by
William Dieterle .... producer
Charles L. Glett .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph H. August (director of photography) (as Joseph August)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Wise 
 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera 
 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Argyle Nelson .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Alfred Herman .... associate art director (as Al Herman)
 
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... sound recordist
James G. Stewart .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
 
Music Department
Bernard Herrmann .... conductor
Bernard Herrmann .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Peter Berneis .... dialogue director
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"All That Money Can Buy" - USA (original title)
"A Certain Mr. Scratch" - USA (alternative title)
"Daniel and the Devil" - USA (reissue title)
"Mr. Scratch" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
107 min | USA:85 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
William Dieterle had a habit of directing with white gloves on. Robert Wise said that everyone thought it was because he had a germ or dirt phobia. During shooting of one scene, Dieterle noticed there wasn't enough mud on a carriage wheel. He pulled off his gloves, grabbed some mud, rubbed it onto the wheel, then wiped his hands on his pants and put the gloves back on to continue directing.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Shortly after filming had begun, Thomas Mitchell fractured his skull and was replaced by 'Edward Arnold'. Not many scenes had been shot, none were re-shot, so Mitchell is still visible in some scenes.See more »
Quotes:
Mr. Scratch:[whispering to Webster while he writes his speech] Listen, Black Daniel, you're wasting your time writing speeches like that. Why worry about the people and their problems? Think of your own. You want to be president of this country, don't you? And you ought to be! Inauguration Day parade: Bands playing, horses prancing, the sun shining on the stars and stripes waving in the breeze, crowds cheering 'Daniel Webster, President of the United States of America!' Don't be a fool. Stop bothering with that speech and get busy promoting yourself...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Faust (1926)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
American Gothic, 17 August 2002
Author: telegonus from brighton, ma

William Dieterle directed this handsome, ambitious adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's The Devil and Daniel Wesbter in 1941. An Americanized (and Yankee-fied) varation on Faust, set in rural New Hampshire, it has many charms, not the least of which its cast, which includes Walter Huston, as a playful Mr. Scratch, Edward Arnold as Daniel Webster, and in strong support, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon and John Qualen. James Craig plays the main character, Jabez Stone, the man who sells his soul to the Devil, and is barely adequate.

This is a meticulously detailed production, deliberately artificial, yet evocative of the real nineteenth century New England, it also looks like the fantasy it is. Joseph August's camerawork is outstanding, as is Bernard Herrmann's folk-inspired score, alternately reassuring, eerie and stirring. On a purely technical level the movie is flawless.

My only problem with the picture, and it's a big one, is that it's lifeless. This is no fault of the actors. It's just that once one gets past the gorgeous sets, music and photography, everyone behaves, well, as he should. No harm in this from a fairy tale standpoint, but it gets tiresome after a while to have farmers continually behaving like the "good New Hampshiremen" they are; and with Widow This and Miser That doing his thing, everything seems out of stock, as in stock company. Even the woman who seduces poor Jabez must be foreign (American girls don't act like that, eh?). I suppose it's cruel to criticize a film like this from a realistic standpoint. It's not supposed to be realistic. If this were a feature length Disney cartoon along the lines of Snow White, or simply a children's movie, I might find it more enchanting, but the talent behind the cameras was sophisticated, European, quite intelligent, and not shy about it. If, on the one hand the story was nudging us toward the larger than life, the mythopoetic, on the other hand what is on the screen is a reasonable simulacrum of human behavior, presumably aimed at an adult audience, featuring characters with precious little individuality. This was a major aesthetic hurdle the movie did not, alas, get over.

As an historical addendum it's worth noting that The Devil and Daniel Webster is one of several movies made in the period of roughly 1940-41 that dealt with east coast America in a manner at once critical, romantic and wistful. New England is not often dealt with in films, yet from the same year there was H.M. Pulham, Esq.; and the previous year saw the movie of Our Town. Philadelphia Story is another from the same period. Citizen Kane, filmed on the same backlot as Daniel Webster, covered the tri-state waterfront, journeying from New York to Philadelphia to Atlantic City. It's as if Hollywood, traditionally geared more to heartland tastes, suddenly cozied up to the northeastern seaboard, which it normally, aside from New York, didn't depict much in films, tossing out bouquet after bouquet, as if to compensate for having snubbed this part of the country, movie-wise, for so many years.

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