Gangster Eddie Kagel is killed by a trusted lieutenant and finds himself in Harry Redmond Jr's special-effects Hell, where Nick/The Devil sees that he is an-exact double for a judge who Nick doesn't approve of. Eddie is agreeable to having his soul transferred to the judge's body, as it will give him a chance to avenge himself on his killer. But every action taken by Eddie (as the judge) results in good rather than evil and, to Nick's dismay, the reputation and influence of the judge is enhanced, rather than impaired by Eddie. And Eddie also falls in love with the judge's fiancée, Barbara. Even Eddie's planned revenge fails and Nick is forced to concede defeat. He returns to Hell, taking Eddie with him, after Eddie has extracted his promise that Nick will not molest the judge or Barbara in the future.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Eddie (as Judge Parker) first met Barbara, he began calling her Rosie. However, during their getaway retreat, when he stops Barbara from kissing him and confesses that he is all mixed up, he then calls her Peggy. See more »
[upon hearing a ruckus]
What in my domain is that?
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Opening credits: This story is about Eddie Kagle who based his way of living on what Omar Khayyam once said: "Live fully while you may and reckon not the cost." See more »
Let out of jail, gangster Paul Mini (as Eddie Kagle) is shot dead by the "double crossing rat" who picks him up at the prison. Uncomfortable in Hell, Mr. Muni hooks up with wicked Claude Rains (as "Nick"), who seems to know his way around the underworld. Not guessing Mr. Rains is the devil in disguise, Muni walks with Rains through fire, and returns to observe the Living World. There, Rains arranges a body-switch with look-alike Judge Frederick Parker (also played by Muni). Muni is promised revenge on the crook who crossed him; and, Rains is unhappy with the Judge, who hasn't been sending many souls to Hell.
So, criminal Muni embodies good Muni...
Archie Mayo's "Angel on My Shoulder" isn't as well-remembered, or as original, as other films visiting the same territory; but, watching Muni and Rains makes up most of the difference. This version is played as a sometimes comic drama, and the stars are devilishly fun to watch. Also notable is Anne Baxter (as Barbara Foster), who plays the pretty fiancée Muni amusingly gropes with approval, then falls in love with. She may be his salvation. Perfectly cast Hardie Albright (as Smiley Williams) is no slouch; in once of the film's best scenes, he holds his own with Muni and Rains in the room. Others haven't as much to do, but they do it well.
******* Angel on My Shoulder (9/20/46) Archie Mayo ~ Paul Muni, Claude Rains, Anne Baxter, Hardie Albright
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