It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »
A down-on-his-luck farmer makes a deal with the devil for seven years of prosperity. When Mr. Scratch comes to collect, orator and hero of the common man Daniel Webster comes to the rescue.Written by
Little Pine Weasel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Theater Guild on the Air" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 2, 1949, with Walter Huston reprising his film role under the title "All That Money Can Buy". See more »
Characters in this film set in pre-Civil War America routinely use the phrase "loan shark" despite the fact that it came into the English language between 1900 and 1905. See more »
[in Jabez' empty mansion]
I see why you're here. You knew no one was coming.
No, I didn't.
Lying, to you? How could I.
Don't you know that you're in my house?
I do, and you could show me the door. You would, too, if you weren't still hoping the guests might arrive.
You think you're so smart, Mrs. Stone. You wanted to be near Jabez. It looked like your big chance tonight, but you're wrong. You can't win him back. Not that way.
That's MY problem.
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Opening credits prologue: It' s a story they tell in the border country, where Massachusetts joins Vermont and New Hampshire. It happened, so they say, a long time ago. But it could happen anytime - anywhere - to anybody . . . .
Over the years, this film was re-released more than once, partly because of its poor box office, and gradually cut down to 85 minutes. It remained in this form for many years, until it was recently restored to its full length. When this was done in the 1990s, it was unfortunately all too easy to tell which sections are restored... all the footage from the 85 minute version was in absolutely pristine, mint condition, while the long-lost, formerly missing footage has less than perfect sound and picture quality. However, the quality has been considerably improved on the DVD and on recent TV showings. See more »
Great script, great acting, great effects, it is funny, creepy and sexy.
What a sweet piece of work. Really good dialogue, and many well written and acted parts besides the obvious titular characters. Miser Stevens and Stone's mother were very good, and especially Simone Simon as the nursemaid/mistress. Three emotional qualities really stand out to me:
Funny: Huston as ol' Mr. Scratch was SO good. Very funny, cynical wit. Lots of little things that stand out from him, all the odd places he turns up. He's everywhere, leading the band at the parade for Dan'l, in Washington whispering in the senator's ear, playing a mean fiddle at the barn dance. His insults to Jabez Stone were priceless. The bit at the end of him ravenously devouring this huge pie was a really funny demonstration of his greed, and the final moments of examining his book for the next target are priceless.
Creepy: Between all the funny stuff were the implications of hell and damnation, but especially terror and hopelessness (Stone and Miser Stevens). The visitors at Stone's new mansion really creeped me out good. Also creepy was the infamous scene where Miser Stevens recently harvested soul comes flying out of Scratch's jacket pocket screaming for help. This also counts as funny, at least when my five year old nephew and I go around effecting high-pitched squeals begging "Help me Neighbor Stone."
Sexy: Belle, the French nanny/whore that Scratch sent Jabez was hotter with her clothes on and no direct sexual behavior than the hookers making out in the elevator to entertain Al Pacino in "The Devil's Advocate." Note the exact tone and body language of her mocking rebuff to Stone at the barn dance saying "Oh, NO Mr. Stone- your place is with your WIFE."
The hottest thing in the movie (and one of the creepiest things) is the scene where she is singing some evil otherworldly lullaby to Stone's infant son. Rewind and watch it closely a couple of times. What was she singing?
Surely this is one of the greatest forgotten movies of the era. This should be making some of those AFI top 100 list thingeys.
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