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The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

All That Money Can Buy (original title)
Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 17 October 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer

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A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a pact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Stephen Vincent Benet (story "The Devil and Daniel Webster"), Dan Totheroh (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward Arnold ... Daniel Webster
Walter Huston ... Mr. Scratch
Jane Darwell ... Ma Stone
Simone Simon ... Belle
Gene Lockhart ... Squire Slossum
John Qualen ... Miser Stevens
H.B. Warner ... Justice Hawthorne
Frank Conlan Frank Conlan ... Sheriff
Lindy Wade ... Daniel Stone
George Cleveland ... Cy Bibber
Anne Shirley ... Mary Stone
James Craig ... Jabez Stone
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Storyline

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 <kristinat@cerritos.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A GREAT MOTION PICTURE DARES TO BE DIFFERENT! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daniel and the Devil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"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 play title "ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jabez Stone: [seeing Belle in place of his regular nurse] You're not Dorothy...
Belle: [smiles] No. She's gone.
Jabez Stone: She can't be gone...
Belle: But she is. I have taken her place. Don't you remember? You wrote me a letter.
Jabez Stone: [reading it] It looks like my hand.
Belle: I have other recommendations, too, from a very good friend of yours.
Jabez Stone: Never mind. What's your name?
Belle: Belle.
Jabez Stone: Belle.
Belle: Belle Dee.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 . . . .

Yes - it could happen to you. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Frasier: The Devil & Dr. Phil (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
My favorite movie
3 August 2003 | by axsmashcrushallthreeSee all my reviews

Why would someone who has thoroughly enjoyed movies such as "Judge Dredd" and "Wild at Heart" consider this to be "my favorite movie"?

One word - "fantasy". It's my favorite movie category, and this is the best one that I've ever seen. The 1940s was the decade in which horror melodramas and fantasies really began to ramp up, and this movie helped to set the standard. Stephen Vincent Benet's story is a bit changed, but not enough to diminish this American Gothic tale.

Aside from being superior entertainment, the movie simply has no weaknesses. Where to start? The casting and acting are extraordinary. Though both are most often remembered for other movies, Edward Arnold and Walter Huston turn in their best performances here. Simone Simon (known today for the "Cat People" movies) is exceptional as Belle. Anne Shirley, James Craig, and the stellar supporting cast are also great.

This is Bernard Herrmann's best film score. William Dieterle's direction is quirky and involving, propelling the film along at a fast clip. Admittably, the characters are caricatures, but Dieterle helps us to feel their trials and tribulations. The movie also features brilliant cinematography, exceptional production values, and truly superior editing (this was an early job for director Robert Wise). The scenes are quite stagey, but never disjointed - the logic of the story is unmistakable and riveting.

Huston is the ultimate "Mr. Scratch". I've seen this show many times, and it's a 10/10.


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