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One Day with the Devil (1945)

Un día con el diablo (original title)
A newspaper boy mistakenly goes to the army; after dying during a mission, he goes to visit the afterlife.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Juan Pérez (as Mario Moreno 'Cantinflas')
Andrés Soler ...
Miguel Arenas
Susana Cora
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lauro Benítez
Roberto Corell
Manuel Dondé
Pedro Elviro
Juan García
Rafael Icardo
Pepe Nava
Óscar Pulido
José Eduardo Pérez
Salvador Quiroz
Humberto Rodríguez
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Storyline

A newspaper boy mistakenly goes to the army; after dying during a mission, he goes to visit the afterlife.

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Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Comedy

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Release Date:

30 November 1945 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Cantinflas no inferno  »

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1.37 : 1
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Referenced in Cantinflas (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
War is Hell... but very funny.
26 July 2014 | by (Nottingham, UK) – See all my reviews

'Día Con el Diablo' ('One Day with the Devil') was a vehicle for the comedic talents of Mexican star Cantinflas, who was proclaimed by none other than Charlie Chaplin himself as "the world's greatest comedian". He's probably best know in America for playing Passepartout in the 1956 version of 'Around the World in 80 Days', despite being known as the world's highest paid comedian, reportedly earning in excess of $1.5m a year in the late 1950s. He's at the height of his powers here, carrying this entire film with his physical comedy and rambling monologues.

This really is a surprisingly entertaining movie; surprising because it's had so little exposure outside of Mexico. During an unspecified war (not WWII, as this war doesn't last very long, although it does seem to be against the Japanese) Cantinflas (playing an unnamed character) is mistaken for a deserter. Our untrained hero is forced into the army and eventually sent off to war. There are shades of 'Sgt. Bilko' and even 'Blackadder Goes Forth' as he tries every trick in the book to dodge death on a daily basis.

The fantasy elements all take place in the final third of the film. They involved a meeting with St. Peter and the 1,100 virgins in Heaven and an emotional meeting with Satan in Hell. These were of course, very apt spoofs at the time, as cinema-goers were inundated with these types of fantasy films in the mid 1940s, mainly coming from Hollywood of course.

You may struggle to find this film, particularly with English subtitles, but if you get the chance, see it. Not all the jokes transfer to English perfectly but the humour that does transfer is as funny as anything made at the time. Highly recommended.


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