34 user 10 critic

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.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ten Tall Men (1951)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sgt. Mike Kincaid of the French Foreign Legion learns, from a Riff prisoner, that an attack will soon be made by the villainous Hussin on the Legion's outpost of Tarfa. Kincaid volunteers ... See full summary »

Director: Willis Goldbeck
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jody Lawrance, Gilbert Roland
I Walk Alone (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A former intelligence officer is tasked by the heir to the Gleneyre estate to investigate the unusual deaths of a disparate group of eleven men on a list.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy. He begins to discover that the facts in the case aren't ... See full summary »

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews
Lawman (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A lawman from Bannock arrives in Sabbath to arrest all the cattlemen whose wild celebration the year before resulted in the accidental death of an old man.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb
Champion (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Marilyn Maxwell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fugitive Bill Saunders and lonely nurse Jane Wharton are crossed by fate when he hides out in her apartment.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Burt Lancaster, Robert Newton
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Madeleine Carroll, Freddie Bartholomew
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dardo, a Robin Hood-like figure, and his loyal followers use a Roman ruin in Medieval Lombardy as their headquarters as they conduct an insurgency against their Hessian conquerors.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Robert Douglas
Scorpio (1973)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Cross is an old hand at the CIA, in charge of assassinating high-ranking foreign personalities who are an obstacle to the policies of the USA. He often teams up with Frenchman Jean Laurier,... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield
Trapeze (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A crippled circus acrobat is torn emotionally between two ambitious young trapeze artists, one a talented young American and a less-gifted but beautiful Italian.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Yankee sea captain has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia.

Directors: Byron Haskin, Burt Lancaster
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Joan Rice, André Morell


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


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


Comedy | History | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »





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  »

Did You Know?


Warner Brothers refused to loan Carroll Baker for the part of Judith Anderson See more »


As the British troops are clearing the felled trees in the forest, General Burgoyne summons Swindon to his carriage. As Swindon presents himself, he inexplicably salutes with his left hand. See more »


General John Burgoyne: Martyrdom, it is where one achieves fame without ability.
See more »


Referenced in Bells Are Ringing (1960) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE (Guy Hamilton and, uncredited, Alexander Mackendrick, 1959) ***1/2
2 April 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Despite its imposing credentials (featuring the star combo of Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier and being adapted from a George Bernard Shaw play), this film is – criminally, if you ask me – scarcely ever revived. Until now, in fact, I had to make do with a tiny reproduction of the poster from the time of its original release locally (kept by my father in a large worn-out scrapbook); for the record, the copy under review was culled from a TCM screening. Anyway, this is a comedy-adventure of the kind 'they don't make 'em like anymore' but one that, being rich in dialogue (as is to be expected of a Shaw work), comes across as atypically intelligent. The setting is the American Revolution (incidentally, the film was begun by Alexander Mackendrick – an American whose career actually took off in England!) with Lancaster a small-town preacher, Douglas a self-proclaimed "ne'er-do-well" and Olivier the General of the invading British army. Douglas, at his roguish best, and a wittily sardonic Olivier are very funny – while Lancaster's initial (albeit necessary) glumness is redeemed by a characteristic bout of acrobatics at the finale. Interestingly, he and Douglas (by the way, THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE was a co-production between their respective companies) gradually exchange identities throughout the film – with the latter passing himself off as a man of the cloth yet keeping his fervent anti-British sentiments unchecked and the minister forced by circumstances into rebellion, action and eventually negotiations with the enemy. The supporting cast, then, is headed by lovely Janette Scott (who manages to hold her own in the company of the two American stars, playing a character named Judith Anderson!) and Harry Andrews (in the role of Olivier's eager yet dim-witted aide) but also including the likes of Basil Sydney, Mervyn Johns and Allan Cuthbertson. Notable, too, are a rousing score by Richard Rodney Bennett and the novel bits of exposition (detailing the progress of General Burgoyne's ill-fated campaign) amusingly done by shifting military figurines about on a map of the area; incidentally, in the style of Lancaster's THE CRIMSON PIRATE (1952; also co-written by Roland Kibbee), we are urged to believe the events as fictionalized here rather than the way documented history presents them!

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
any word on a DVD release ? mac-100
hidden gem Carlinsca
As much as I love... MrDeltoid77
Discuss The Devil's Disciple (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: