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The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

All That Money Can Buy (original title)
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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

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

The film was shot almost sequentially, an unusual and often costly practice for the time. See more »

Goofs

When Ma is mending and talking about Mary in labor, Ma's hand jumps to being held by Jabez. See more »

Quotes

Ma Stone: Well, thank the Lord you can always depend on New England for weather. We've got enough for the whole United States.
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 Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Great Film, Craig Deserves Credit!
19 August 2004 | by eddyskivaSee all my reviews

One of the best films of the 1940's. All the praise about Huston, Arnold, Herrmann's score, etc... is richly deserved... but I'd like to finally get it out there... that the STAR of the movie... the character that this film is about... is Jabez Stone... played by James Craig. He is a long forgotten actor now, but his performance is the center of the film. Why Huston and Arnold were and are still claimed as the main stars... is really beyond me....they are clearly there as Supporting Actors to the Main Character... Jabez. Had a 'major' actor in 1941 been cast.. .a Gary Cooper or Henry Fonda... they would have had top billing, and possibly nominated for the Oscar. Craig does an incredible job with this... parts of his performance toward the later half of the film.... are similar to the (still to come) work of James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life.... when both characters are desperate, caught in a nightmarish web... running from the house looking for 'Mary'. Huston deserved his nomination, but it is without a doubt a supporting role, as is Arnold's. Jabez Stone is the central character, and Craig's multi-faceted performance should have been Oscar nommed... I love the moment when, having heard his wife is pregnant... he stares out the window hypnotically, and says almost to himself... "a son, an heir, money"... a marvelous glimpse of the corruption building within... a marvelous underrated performance.


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