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Shortcut to Happiness (2003)

The Devil and Daniel Webster (original title)
A down-and-out writer sells his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune.

Director:

(as Harry Kirkpatrick)

Writers:

(story "The Devil and Daniel Webster"), (play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Virl Andrick ...
Ray Aranha ...
Kaniel Arocho ...
Jorge Arocho ...
...
Howard Atlee ...
...
...
...
...
Cop
...
Herself
...
Antoni Cornacchione ...
Bill Corsair ...
Grenville Cuyler ...
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Storyline

In Manhattan, the aspirant writer Jabez Stone is a complete loser: he is not able to sell his novels, he lives in a lousy apartment and he does not have success with women. When one of his friends Julius Jenson sells his novel for US$ 190,000.00 to an editor, Jabez fells envy and promises to sell his soul to the devil for success and accidentally kills a woman with his typing machine. The Devil knocks on his door, fixes the situation and seals a contract with Jabez. His low quality novels have bad reviews but become best-sellers; Jabez enriches; has success with women, but has no time for his friends. Jabez meets with the publisher Daniel Webster who offers him a chance to break the contract with the devil. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

the devil is in the details.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 2007 (Kazakhstan)  »

Also Known As:

Shortcut to Happiness  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Alec Baldwin, the film was extensively re-edited after it came into the possession of Bob Yari Productions, and no longer bears any resemblance to its original form or to the Benet short story, hence the title change. Baldwin has since requested that his name be removed from the credits as director and producer. See more »

Goofs

While showing Jabez his new apartment, the Realtor says Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" there. In fact, the song was written while sitting at the pool at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona in 1940. See more »

Quotes

The Devil: Hmm. You know what they say. In order for one to succeed, another must fail.
See more »

Connections

References The Devil and Daniel Mouse (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Jazzy Soul
Written and Performed by Richard Glasser
Courtesy of Billabong Music
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User Reviews

 
Smarmy, tasteless, trendily cynical rewrite of "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
21 July 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Struggling novelist, unable to get anything published much less an actual audience to read his work, enters into a pact with a comely female Satan: fame and fortune in exchange for his immortal soul. Archibald Macleish's play "Scratch" becomes an updating of "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (filmed in 1941, with a panicked farmer as the tempted central figure); producer-director Alec Baldwin portrays the leading character opposite a terrific supporting cast, including Anthony Hopkins as lawyer Daniel Webster and Jennifer Love Hewitt as the Devil. Unfortunately, the movie was edited against Baldwin's wishes after sitting on the shelf for years, debuting on the Starz television network in 2007 after some brief theatrical bookings. It begins well but quickly loses its footing once Baldwin's writer gains the success he so desired, turning the picture into a yuppie treatise on the old money-can't-buy-happiness ploy. The filmmakers are so out-of-touch, they don't even consider the fact that maybe some of the writer's needs ARE fulfilled by his newfound celebrity. Instead, he turns into a sad sack with money in the bank and women at his feet--clearly not something struggling writers in real-life can identify with. Worse, there's never a moment when this man's heart is actually detectable; Baldwin is so callow an actor (not to mention as the director) that all we perceive are his handsome, unmodulated externals. He purses his lips and gazes intently at the camera, hoping to smolder, while viewers lose track of the character's roots. The final courtroom battle is well-played, though so much of the writing is smarmy, and executed without style, that the overall results are distinctly unsatisfactory. *1/2 from ****


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