The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
James Craig: Jabez Stone
Mr. Scratch : You shall have your trial, Mr. Webster. But I'm sure you'll agree, this is hardly the case for an ordinary jury.
Daniel Webster : Let it be the quick or the dead, so long as it is an American judge and an American jury!
Mr. Scratch : 'The quick or the dead!' You have said it.
[he stomps on the barn floor; a door opens]
Mr. Scratch : You must pardon the leathery toughness of one or two.
Jabez Stone : [afraid] Mr. Webster!
[a line of ghosts begin entering from the trapdoor]
Mr. Scratch : Captain Kidd - he killed men for gold. Simon Girty, the renegade - he burned men for gold. Governor Dale - he broke men on the wheel. Asa, the Black Monk - he choked them to death. Floyd Ireson and Stede Bonnet, the fiendish butchers. Walter Butler, King of the Massacre. Big and Little Harp, robbers and murderers. Teach, the Cutthroat. Morton, the vicious lawyer... and General Benedict Arnold. You remember him, no doubt.
Daniel Webster : A jury of the damned...
Mr. Scratch : [laughs] Dastards, liars, traitors, knaves. Your suggestion, Mr. Webster - 'the quick or the dead.'
Daniel Webster : This is outrageous, I asked for a fair trial...
Mr. Scratch : Americans, all.
Jabez Stone : Money's a funny thing ain't it, Ma?
Ma Stone : I figure it depends a mite on how you get it and how you spend it.
Jabez Stone : But I don't spend any.
Ma Stone : But you should, son. That's all it's good for.
Jabez Stone : Do you really think that?
Ma Stone : That's just common sense. Now a man like Daniel Webster: guess they pay him high for what he does, but he's worth it. And he helps others... makes all the difference.
Jabez Stone : I know. But suppose a man got his money in bad ways?
Ma Stone : Wouldn't profit him none. You see, son: I'm old and I've lived. When a man gets his money in bad way... when he sees the better course and takes the worse... then the devil's in his heart. And that fixes him.
Jabez Stone : And yet... a man could change all that couldn't he?
Ma Stone : A man can always change things. That's what makes him different from the barnyard critters.
[Webster and Stone are waiting for Mr. Scratch]
Daniel Webster : How long do we have to wait?
Jabez Stone : 'Til midnight.
Daniel Webster : Oh, that's fine - then we have time to christen a jug. Old Medford rum: aahh, there's nothing like it. You know, somehow or other, waiting becomes wonderfully shorter with a jug. I saw an inchworm once take a drop of this and he stood right up on his hind legs and bit a bee!
[chuckles and takes a drink]
Daniel Webster : Will you have a nip?
Jabez Stone : No, there's no joy in it for me.
Daniel Webster : Oh, come, come now. Just because you sold your soul to the devil that needn't make you a teetotaler.
Jabez Stone : What do you have on your mind?
Daniel Webster : You, Jabez Stone. You and a lot of poor farmers hereabouts... all good men of the earth and in trouble because of you. Or am I wrong about those contracts?
Jabez Stone : Without me and my money they wouldn't have anything.
Daniel Webster : They'd have a good neighbor - and that's worth more than anything else... much, much more.
[Jabez Stone is examining Mr. Scratch's contract]
Jabez Stone : What does it mean here, about my soul?
Mr. Scratch : Why should that worry you? A soul? A soul is nothing. Can you see it, smell it, touch it? No. This soul, *your* soul, are nothing against seven years of good luck. You'll have money and all that money can buy.
Jabez Stone : [about the hailstorm] Queer sort of weather we're having... queer like everything else.
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.
Jabez Stone : Where are you from?
Belle : From over the mountain.
Jabez Stone : What's the matter with you?
Miser Stevens : Are you afraid?
Jabez Stone : Afraid of what?
Miser Stevens : Of what happens when we die.
Jabez Stone : Are you crazy, man? We're buried, that's all.
Miser Stevens : But what becomes of our soul?
Jabez Stone : [agitated] Why should you fret about something that isn't there?
Miser Stevens : Don't say that. I know it is.
Jabez Stone : All right, so it's buried with you!
Miser Stevens : But what if one hasn't a soul anymore?
Jabez Stone : What's that? Well, what about it? Who cares anyhow!
Miser Stevens : I do. And I think you do, too.
Mr. Scratch : [reading from his list] Sherwin, Slaterly, Stevens - I can cross him off the list, he's an old customer...
[something like a moth flies out of his handkerchief toward Jabez]
Miser Stevens' Voice : [faint] Help me, Jabez Stone! Help me!
Jabez Stone : That's Miser Stevens' voice!
Mr. Scratch : [catching it] Miser Stevens' soul, I'm sorry for the disturbance.
Jabez Stone : But he isn't dead, he's dancing! He's in there!
Mr. Scratch : He was.
[Jabez runs into the ballroom and sees Stevens' body stretched out]
Mr. Scratch : In the midst of life, one really hates to close these long standing accounts. But, business is business.