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Angel on My Shoulder (1946)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  20 September 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,633 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 10 critic

The Devil arranges for a deceased gangster to return to Earth as a well-respected judge to make up for his previous life.



(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Angel on My Shoulder (TV Movie 1980)
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Criminal dies and goes to hell, and is given one last chance to redeem himself by helping a respected judge.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Peter Strauss, Richard Kiley, Barbara Hershey


Complete credited cast:
Barbara Foster
Onslow Stevens ...
Dr. Matt Higgins
George Cleveland ...
Erskine Sanford ...
Marion Martin ...
Mrs. Bentley
Smiley Williams
James Flavin ...


Gangster Eddie Kagel is killed by a trusted lieutenant and finds himself in Harry Redmond Jr's special-effects Hell, where Nick/The Devil sees that he is an-exact double for a judge who Nick doesn't approve of. Eddie is agreeable to having his soul transferred to the judge's body, as it will give him a chance to avenge himself on his killer. But every action taken by Eddie (as the judge) results in good rather than evil and, to Nick's dismay, the reputation and influence of the judge is enhanced, rather than impaired by Eddie. And Eddie also falls in love with the judge's fiancée, Barbara. Even Eddie's planned revenge fails and Nick is forced to concede defeat. He returns to Hell, taking Eddie with him, after Eddie has extracted his promise that Nick will not molest the judge or Barbara in the future. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

judge | devil | gangster | hell | love | See All (16) »


The strange story of Eddie Kagle... the man they couldn't keep down!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Me and Satan  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario) | (TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of director Archie Mayo. See more »


Upon arriving in hell, Eddie complains of the smell of rotten eggs. A "chemist" states that this is due to H2SO4. H2SO4 is sulfuric acid, which does not have the smell of rotten eggs. The correct chemical is H2S, or hydrogen sulfide. See more »


Eddie Kagle: [shoveling coal into the furnaces] How hot do they want it down here?
Shoveler: Never gets hot enough to suit the boss. You think this is bad, wait till they stick you in them flame pits way down below.
Eddie Kagle: You mean we ain't at bottom now?
Shoveler: There ain't no bottom in this joint.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: This story is about Eddie Kagle who based his way of living on what Omar Khayyam once said: "Live fully while you may and reckon not the cost". See more »


Edited into Scream Greats, Vol. 2: Satanism and Witchcraft (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

entertaining fantasy
16 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Paul Muni is a dead convict brought back to earth by the devil in "Angel on my Shoulder," a 1946 film also starring Claude Rains and Anne Baxter. Muni is Eddie, a convict fresh out of jail who is killed by his partner Smiley and goes straight to you know where. Let's just say it's hot. The devil, played by Claude Rains, needs help himself. A Judge Parker is keeping too many candidates out of hell, and he sees that Eddie is a ringer for the Judge. So he arranges for Eddie to get into the judge's body as he sleeps so that he can ruin the judge's reputation and Eddie can get revenge on Smiley. But even the best-laid plans of the Devil can go astray.

During and after World War II, films dealt with psychiatry, with angels, with death, and with people returning from the dead. All of this had to do with the emotional and adjustment problems that returning soldiers had and with the loss of loved ones in countless families. "Angel on My Shoulder" is along the same idea as "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" and "A Guy Named Joe," and a close brother of "Heaven Can Wait" and the later "The Bishop's Wife." This is an excellent example of the genre, with top acting by Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, and Claude Rains. Muni is great in a Bogart type of role - he gives a performance imbued with toughness and humor as a bad guy who begins to see the other side of evil. Anne Baxter is very good as his patient but suffering fiancée, endeavoring to understand the difference in the judge's personality. As the Devil, Claude Rains is inspired casting. He's elegant, charming and manipulative, and gets plenty nervous when he sees things aren't working out as he planned.

Wonderful film, and a good chance to see the fine actor Paul Muni in a lighter role than he usually played.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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