7.6/10
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61 user 40 critic

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

All That Money Can Buy (original title)
Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 17 October 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
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

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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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 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

[in Jabez' empty mansion]
Belle: I see why you're here. You knew no one was coming.
Mary Stone: No, I didn't.
Belle: You're lying.
Mary Stone: Lying, to you? How could I.
Belle: Don't you know that you're in my house?
Mary Stone: I do, and you could show me the door. You would, too, if you weren't still hoping the guests might arrive.
Belle: 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.
Mary Stone: That's MY problem.
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 even 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 Tripping the Rift: The Devil and a Guy Named Webster (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Great script, great acting, great effects, it is funny, creepy and sexy.
9 January 2000 | by MorethingsSee all my reviews

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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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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