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The Devil's Disciple (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, History, Romance | 20 August 1959 (USA)
The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene near the end of the movie where Gen. Burgoyne invites Richard Dudgeon and Mrs. Anderson to dine with him and his lady friend is based loosely on the historical fact that after the British surrender at Saratoga, Gen. Burgoyne and the American commander Gen. Horatio Gates and their staffs then ate a simple lunch together (shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday Oct.17, 1777). See more »

Goofs

At the fallen tree road block the soldiers (actors) working to clear the trees are just waking away at various points on the tree. With no obvious knowledge of how to use an axe. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Give a Major Swindon enough rope, and he'll always hang somebody.
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

Sparking fun
20 July 1999 | by (Mountain View, Ca.) – See all my reviews

Sparkling adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's witty play set in American's revolutionary war. It has everything; a wonderful script (most of Shaw's play is let be), lively direction, and a top-notch cast. Kirk Douglas gives his lightest and most charming performance as the self-professed Devil's Disciple, there's no trace of the usual heavy-handed ham, he completely steals the film. Burt Lancaster doesn't have as much to work with in the part of a virtuous minister, but he does what he can and I consider a man who looks that great to be above criticism.

The only disappointment is Laurence Olivier as General Burgoyne. Olivier castigated himself in his autobiography for botching one of Shaw's most hilarious roles, his personal griefs were overwhelming him at the time. He's nervous and unfocused, line after wonderful line falls flat. (He returned to form shortly after in "Spartacus" and "The Entertainer")

So, this isn't just a fun film that can be enjoyed by any level of sophistication, it's something every film buff has to see... A movie where Kirk Douglas acts rings around Laurence Olivier!!! Surely the stars must have fallen out of the sky in pure shock!


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

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