7.4/10
1,660
35 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.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

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

People who liked this also liked... 

All My Sons (1948)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During WW2, industrialist Joe Keller commits a crime and frames his business partner Herbert Deever but years later his sin comes back to haunt him when Joe's son plans to marry Deever's daughter.

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Burt Lancaster, Mady Christians
Mystery
    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 | 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In a Scottish sanitarium, a brilliant research psychiatrist works on a treatment for dementia precox. He falls for his altruistic female lab assistant and they begin a passionate tragic relationship.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: James Stephenson, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Donald Crisp
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The triumph and tragedy of Native American Jim Thorpe, who, after winning both the pentathlon and decathlon in the same Olympics, is stripped of his medals on a technicality.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, Steve Cochran
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

New York tourist Tony Curtis falls asleep on a Southern California beach on his first night in the West and wakes up to The New Phantasmagoria--catamarans, surfers (including a dog), ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Tony Curtis, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Webber
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
Adventure | Drama | History
    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
Action | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The career of Revolutionary War naval hero from his youth in Scotland through his service to Catherine the Great of Russia.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Robert Stack, Marisa Pavan, Charles Coburn
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

American soldiers stranded in the Philippines after the Japanese invasion form guerrilla bands to fight back.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Tyrone Power, Micheline Presle, Tom Ewell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jerry Barker finds a lost boy whose rich father is extorted into paying a ransom for his return but the boy accidentally dies and Jerry goes to prison.

Director: Howard W. Koch
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Ralph Meeker, Reed Hadley
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During the Revolutionary War, American Major John Boulton feigns desertion in order to uncover a British plot to seize the stronghold of West Point.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Michael Wilding, George Sanders
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
George Rose ...
Neil McCallum ...
Christie Dudgeon (as Neil Mc Callum)
...
Rev. Maindeck Parshotter
...
Erik Chitty ...
...
British Lieutenant
...
Edict Sergeant
Phyllis Morris ...
Edit

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

Taglines:

One devil of a motion picture !

Genres:

Comedy | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El discípulo del diablo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Third of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together. 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: What will history say, sir?
General John Burgoyne: History, sir, will tell lies, as usual!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Devil's Disciple (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
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

"Gentleman Johnny" Gets the Best Lines
30 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is little point denying that the greatest dramatist in England in the 20th Century was George Bernard Shaw. He was a great wit, and he had a view of society that he felt needed expressing in one play after another. But there was something irritating about him that has prevented him from overtaking Shakespeare in drama writing: His desire to give his views on this societal problem or that one led to polemics taking over his writings, so that the plays, even when good, can be uneven. He also displayed a monstrous ego at times that did not deserve to be admired or applauded by the public for most of his ninety three or four years.

In 1897 he had only a handful of plays that had been produced to show his talents: WIDOWERS HOUSE and MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION were the best of these, and the second had been banned by the Lord Chamberlain's office for treating the subject of prostitution as a business. He decided to do a play with one of London's leading actor managers of the time: Mr. William Terris. But while negotiating with Terris to appear in this play. a madman stabbed Terris to death. Looking around for another actor, Shaw contacted Mr. Richard Mansfield, thus beginning a brief business relationship with that stage star. Mansfield produced THE DEVIL'S DESCIPLE in America, where it was a big success (Mansfield also played Dick Dudgeon).

Shaw was looking at good and evil in the play, with Dudgeon being an anti-religious type who was cynical. But Dudgeon demonstrates a sense of right and wrong and compassion that is missing from the other characters in the play, making the title very ironic - Dick may boast of worshiping the Devil, but he never hurts anyone. In the play, because of his fast life style, the local Puritanical townspeople (especially his mother) disapprove of him, and all but ostracize him. Then his father's will is read, and they realize he is rich (and the other heirs, especially his mother are poor). Since they are hypocrites, the lucky break for Dick makes them even more vicious toward him (his mother cursing him before she dies). So far so good for Shaw.

As I said, the play begins well, and continues fine - introducing high comedy when General Burgoyne appears. Burgoyne was a dramatist too, so Shaw liked him. And here the play (and movie's) problems begin to be felt. Shaw was writing the play in a period that the Whig historians, like George Otto Trevelyan, wrote the history of the American Revolution. Trevelyan's books became best sellers, and were well researched. But he wrote of the Revolution as the backdrop of English Revolutionary spirit as well. To Trevelyan, the English lost the war due to the ineptitude of the Tory regime of Lord North. One example of this was the story of how General Burgoyne's brilliant plan to split the northern colonies in half and conquer both halves one at a time was ruined when the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord George Germain, failed to send vital plans to General Sir William Howe to link his men with Burgoyne. Instead, Sir William headed for Philadelphia, which he occupied, and heard nothing about Burgoyne until the latter surrendered in October 1777.

The play builds up to a comic misunderstanding between the British and Dudgeon, whom they arrest thinking he is the Reverend - Dick was alone with the wife of the Reverend at the time, and assumes the latter's personality because he does not want a scandal to break out. Soon the Reverend (who supports the Revolution) faces a court martial, with the whimsical Gentleman Johnny asking questions. Although the result is a foregone conclusion, (the British have already hanged Dick's father as the movie begins), Burgoyne is annoyed to discover after the verdict is about to be given that Dick is not the Reverend.

This is all in the film, and it still works, especially with Olivier's perfect performance as the British general, who is facing defeat but won't lose his cool about it. But Shaw's source, George Otto Treveylan, is no longer supported by students of history - he is regarded as a Whig who ignored the many errors of his own party, to concentrate on the failures of Lord North and his Tories. One mistake is the story of Lord George Germain's failure to send Sir William Howe his plans, because Lord George felt he had to go on his personal vacation to the country, and would not wait to send out those vital plans. It is not true, after all. Lord George did send Sir William the plans, but Howe ignored them, going out to capture Philadelphia instead.

"History will lie as usual" says Burgoyne to Major Swindon. Ironically, Shaw pushed the lie as truth himself. Now everyone who sees the play or film believes that Lord George Germain's vacation plans lost the Revolution. Not really. The forests of upper New York State, the lack of good roads, the immense supply train played vital, the vigor of Benedict Arnold as an American general led to Burgoyne's surrender. But that was not as amusing as Lord George Germain's "failure" to send the vital plans. One recalls the end of John Ford's LIBERTY VALANCE: When given a chance to print the truth of the legend, print the legend!


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?