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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)
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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 »
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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

Plot Keywords:

birth | bible | cow | crop | damnation | See All (112) »

Taglines:

STEPHEN VINCENT BENET'S Amazing Saturday Evening Post Story 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:

A Certain Mr. Scratch 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

Bernard Herrmann's score makes extensive use of traditional American folk tunes, a practice that was something of a popular trend in the American classical music scene of the 1930s and early 1940s. One song he adapted was the early 19th Century "Springfield Mountain", describing the plight of a farmer. When his erstwhile friend Aaron Copland used the same tune in his 1942 concert piece "Lincoln Portrait", Herrmann reportedly sent him a hot letter accusing Copland of plagiarism. 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

Daniel Webster: [about Jabez] Well, he sure made himself the big frog in the little pond around here.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Tripping the Rift: The Devil and a Guy Named Webster (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a gem of a film
19 October 2000 | by naylandsSee all my reviews

This film is one of the finest fansties that were turned out by the Hollywood system in the 1940's. The greatest of the film laids in the two performances of Edward Arnold-as Daniel Webster-and Walter Huston as the Devil. Arnold's Webster is a great,but, flawed man, who is willing to put his very soul on the line, to help a fellow American . Huston's is the model for every conman in history. He always waits until his target is at his or hers weaks moment and he strikes. The music, by the master Bernard Herrmman, is wonderful.

The very ending, not the trial section, is frighten me as a kid and still is eerie.


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