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The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)

Max, a dead corrupt businessman, makes a Faustian pact with Satan's henchman to drive three people to Hell in exchange for longer life. Soon Max realizes that there still may be good in him.


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Director: Leonard Nimoy
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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Max Devlin
... Barney Satin
... Penny Hart
... Toby Hart
Julie Budd ... Stella Summers
... Big Billy Hunniker
... Nerve Nordlinger
... Jerry Nadler
Deborah Baltzell ... Heidi
... Greg Weems
Jeannie Wilson ... Laverne Hunniker
... The Counterman
Ted Zeigler ... Mr. Billings
Vic Dunlop ... Brian
... Chairman of Devil's Council


When Max dies in an accident, he goes straight to hell. But the devil Barney makes him an offer: if he manages to get three innocent youths to sell him their souls in the next two months, he may stay on earth. Max accepts, and returns to earth, equipped with special powers. However his task is harder than expected, especially when 7 years old Tobi demands that he marry his mother. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A new high in being lowdown. See more »


Comedy | Family | Fantasy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diabel i Max Devlin  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

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Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the UK 'video nasty' scare of the 1980's anti-censorship journalist Liam T. Sanford wrote a false letter petitioning against this film to the Police Watch Committee, claiming the movie to be 'sick and horrific', in an attempt to discredit local police forces and expose their lack of film knowledge. Sure enough the film was briefly seized by officers from video retailers before being hastily returned to the shelves. See more »


Max Devlin: [Max goes after blind lady after Nerve tells him that she tripped him before his motorbike started up] Who are you?
Blind Lady #2: [She takes off her sunglasses] We have them here too, you know.
Max Devlin: We? Where do you come from?
Max Devlin: [She looks up, indicating Heaven, then looks back at Max] You're not gonna take him away now, are you, your holiness?
Blind Lady #2: [She chuckles] Oh, no. He's much too young to die.
[She leaves Max, putting her sunglasses back on]
Max Devlin: [Max says to himself] So am I!
See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Dead Men Don't Die (2012) See more »


Any Fool Can See
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Allee Willis
Performed by Julie Budd
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User Reviews

Reasonably entertaining 'mature' product from Disney
13 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

Horror veteran Jimmy Sangster got himself attached to the Disney company by way of his story concerning a crooked apartment manager in Los Angeles who is hit by a car and goes to Hell. To save himself from eternal damnation, he must return to Earth and find three unsullied innocents who will sign away their souls in exchange for their life's wish to be granted. Sangster shares credit for the plot with screenwriter Mary Rodgers of "Freaky Friday", who apparently added the accoutrements of a single mom and her son looking for a husband and father to love, a teenage nerd who wants to be a motocross champion and a nervous songbird who wants to be a star. Disney, who had not yet developed the Touchstone subsidiary for more grown-up product, was attempting to change their image a bit here, but the swear words and a scary scene down in Hades just seem out of place in a movie about an old softie (Elliott Gould) charming everyone with his rumpled panache. Bill Cosby is cast as Satan, who dresses up for different occasions even though nobody but Gould can see him, and Susan Anspach is the daycare worker burned by broken romances. Both are good, but it's Gould movie and he carries it to a treacly but satisfying finish. **1/2 from ****

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