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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After his definitive performance in Scarface (1932), Paul Muni vowed never to play a gangster again. This tactic worked well for a couple of years, with an Academy Award for The Life of Emile Zola (1937) and an Oscar nomination for The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936), but eventually the good parts started to dwindle. By 1946, Muni was keen to play a major role again, so took the part of a gangster in this film. See more »
[upon hearing a ruckus]
What in my domain is that?
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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 »
Paul Muni leads a talented cast in Archie Mayo's dark comedy about a wise-guy (Eddie Kagle/Muni) who, murdered, finds himself entangled in one of Satan's (Claude Rains) schemes to outwit his arch-rival and steal the soul of a righteous judge who happens to look exactly like Kagle. Kagle is willing to do the devil's handiwork as long as he can get revenge upon his murderer. But living vicariously in the life of a good man (Judge Parker), loved by an even better woman (Barbara/Anne Baxter) Kagle begins to question the evils of his life.
While Angel on my Shoulder is not quite a redemption story, it endows its characters with just enough conscience to make them sympathetic. The characterizations are strong - especially for the three leads - Muni, Rains and Baxter. All three are excellent, and help to make the film worth watching. The script is good, and occasionally very clever, but also slips once in a while. The pace is steady though not brisk. The cinematography is, at times, a bit hokey, but this fits the occasional lapses into silliness which the story indulges.
Recommended for young adults and older adults. Aspects of the film may frighten younger viewers and some of the key humor may not be appropriate for kids.
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