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The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) - movie overview

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

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Plot Description

Original title: Devil and Daniel Webster, The

DVD Release Date
• R1: Sep 30, 2003

Running Time
1 hour, 47 minutes

Country USA

Production Companies
William Dieterle Productions

Studio RKO Pictures

More info on

Other Titles
• The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
• Alles was Geld kaufen kann (1945)
• A Certain Mr. Scratch
• Here Is a Man
• All That Money Can Buy
• Daniel and the Devil

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Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Demonic Possession, Demon, Suspense, Devil, Law, Period Piece, Fantasy, Courtroom

Plot: William Dieterle adapts Stephen Vincent Benet's transformation of the Faust legend from the tale of an aging genius to that of struggling New Hampshire farmer Jabez Stone, played by James Craig. When Stone absently exclaims that he would sell his soul for a little money and a decent crop, up pops the Mephistophelean Mr. Scratch (Walter Huston). Thinking the whole thing a joke, Stone takes Scratch up on his offer of seven years of prosperity in return for his soul. As Stone's fortunes change and his coffers swell, so does his character. He mutates into a hard, avaricious tyrant, nearly enslaving as tenant famers the neigbors who had been his friends. Ignoring his kind and patient wife, Mary (Anne Shirley), he takes a mistress, Belle (Simone Simon), builds her a mansion, and even allows her to raise his son. When Scratch comes to collect his debt, the terrified Stone realizes his error and begs legendary New Hampshire lawyer and politician Daniel Webster (Edward Arnold) for help. THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER is a nearly perfect film, very well acted and directed, with an exceptional performance by Huston. Even better are the Oscar-winning score by Bernard Herrmann and the gorgeous black-and-white photography of Joseph August.

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 Directed by
William Dieterle
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Portrait of Jennie, The Life of Emile Zola
 Written by
Stephen Vincent Benet
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Abraham Lincoln, The Devil and Daniel Webster
Edward Arnold
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Can't Take It with You, Meet John Doe
Walter Huston
The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Yankee Doodle Dandy
Jane Darwell
Mary Poppins, The Grapes of Wrath, My Darling Clementine
Simone Simon
Cat People, Bęte humaine, La, Ronde, La
Gene Lockhart
His Girl Friday, Miracle on 34th Street, Meet John Doe
John Qualen
Casablanca, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Searchers
H.B. Warner
It's a Wonderful Life, Sunset Blvd., Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
 Music By
Bernard Herrmann
Psycho, Citizen Kane, North by Northwest

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Oh, God! You Devil (1984)
Beauté du diable, La (1950)
Körkarlen (1921)

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