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The Devil's Disciple (1959)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,068 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 5 critic

The black sheep of a family (Dick Dudgeon) and the local minister (Anthony Anderson) discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Devil's Disciple (1959)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Janette Scott ...
Eva Le Gallienne ...
...
Basil Sydney ...
George Rose ...
Neil McCallum ...
Christie Dudgeon (as Neil Mc Callum)
Mervyn Johns ...
Rev. Maindeck Parshotter
David Horne ...
Erik Chitty ...
Allan Cuthbertson ...
British Captain
...
British Lieutenant
Phyllis Morris ...
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Storyline

In a small New England town during the American War of Independence, Dick Dudgeon, a revolutionary American Puritan, is mistaken for local minister Rev. Anthony Anderson and arrested by the British. Dick discovers himself incapable of accusing another human to suffer and continues to masquerade as the reverend. The minister's wife, Judith, is moved by Dick's actions and mistakenly interprets them as an expression of love for her. In spite of his protestations she finds herself romantically attracted to him. Brought before British commander General Burgoyne, Dudgeon displays his willingness to die for his principles. At the last minute Dick is saved from ministerial pursuits to become a revolutionary leader. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Teufelsschüler  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play was first performed as a 'Copyright Performance' on 17 April 1897 in London, with Shaw reading the part of Rev. Anderson. He was unhappy with the play and wouldn't permit a public performance at that time. It was first shown in the United States on Broadway's Fifth Avenue Theater in New York City on 4 October 1897, and in London the following year. There were 4 Broadway revivals in the United States, the last in 1988. See more »

Goofs

Several times while going through the forest, the British refer to "snipers." However, the term sniper didn't come into being until about 40 years after the American Revolutionary War. The term came into usage in 1824, while the war ended in 1783. See more »

Quotes

Major Swindon: I can only do my best sir, and rely on the devotion of our countrymen.
General John Burgoyne: May I ask, Major, are you writing a melodrama?
Major Swindon: No, sir.
General John Burgoyne: (sarcastically) What a pity! WHAT a pity!
See more »

Connections

Remake of The Devil's Disciple (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
traditional 18th Century Anglo-American folk song
Heard under main title
See more »

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User Reviews

Today's film makers might learn a thing or two from this one.
3 May 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Lancaster and Douglas had a rare and unique Hollywood relationship. Though they could easily have been rivals (and in some ways were), they formed a sort of onscreen "buddy team", working together many times and using their own traits of one-upmanship to lift various projects to a high level of achievement. Their competitiveness, paired with their mutual respect, led to some memorable movies. This is a lesser-known effort of theirs, but is, by no means, an inferior one. Lancaster is a gentle Revolutionary War-era minister, married to the lovely, but puritanical Scott. When the war reaches a fever pitch and local townsfolk begin to hang from the gallows, a roguish prodigal son (Douglas) returns to stir things up. Douglas and Lancaster form an uneasy alliance with each other until Douglas is arrested, mistaken for Lancaster who has buried a "rebel" without permission. The commanding British officer is Olivier, who knows that the war is hopeless, but continues to play it out with a sort of bemused detachment. Though the film contains a fair amount of action, it is really a witty, clever parade of words and thoughts (based on a George Bernard Shaw play) shedding a humorous and ironic light on a page in U.S. history. Lancaster is mellow for much of the film, but effective (and tan! The audience gets to see his muscular back in the film, though Scott is too demure to look upon it herself!) Douglas starts off VERY big, with distractingly dark and satanically groomed eyebrows. Fortunately, he overcomes this gimmick and turns in a solid performance. Olivier is very good, but doesn't really take the reigns of his role to the highest level (and has limited screen time in any case.) Andrews gives a very nice supporting turn as his exasperated right-hand man. Scott does some of her best work as the straight-laced bride who can't help but find herself drawn to the rough-hewn charms of Douglas, though the very idea tortures her. Her best moment comes when Douglas asks her to kiss him and she exclaims, "I can't!" (yet immediately thrusts herself onto him for a lengthy smooch!) As history, the film is dubious at best (and even recognizes this itself!), but, at a tight 83 minutes, it's a delightful diversion featuring a great combination of actors and stars. It doesn't overstay its welcome and has a light touch throughout. (Oh, and check out the stop-motion figures that show up during the voice-over narration! What a hoot!)


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