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The Devil & Daniel Webster (All That Money Can Buy)

The Devil & Daniel Webster (All That Money Can Buy) (1941)

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Release Date: Oct 29, 1941 Limited

audience

84

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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,906

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Movie Info

This classic fantasy was based on a story by Stephen Vincent Benet. Jabez Stone (James Craig) is a simple New England farmer who has been suffering from a long run of bad luck. One day he mutters that he'd sell his soul for a little money and a decent crop. Moments later, who should appear but The Evil One himself, Mr. Scratch (Walter Huston). Scratch offers Stone seven years of wealth and good fortune in exchange for his soul; Stone, assuming it's some sort of joke, agrees. Soon Stone's fields

Sep 30, 2003

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (0) | DVD (12)

This devil is fun, seductive, even, and he knows it-he's always immensely pleased with himself, and he doesn't need to pressure anyone to do business with him...

June 23, 2012 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Juxtapose the name of a true-life nineteenth-century orator, attorney and senator with the Biblical personification of evil, and you capture something of the strange mix here of social realism and moralising mythology

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

It's the heavy Teutonic Faust, but made American lite in this supernatural tale.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Excellent, high-class genre film.

June 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

William Dieterle's entertaining version of the noted Stephen Vincent Benet's story, about the Devil and Daniel Webster features a strong, Oscar nominated performance by Walter Huston.

July 6, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A wonderful masterpiece. Walter Huston has a devilishly good time!

November 16, 2004
Reeling Reviews

First-rate Americana

June 25, 2004
Film Journal International

Huston and Arnold are superb in this stirring blend of American and Faust.

March 4, 2004
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Craig's performance is downright terrible, but old pros Arnold and Huston (who scored a Best Actor nomination) pick up the pace.

November 4, 2003
Creative Loafing

Spooky, light-hearted, and never less than a joy to watch

September 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Wonderfully made fantasy that strangely leaves me cold.

August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Devil & Daniel Webster (All That Money Can Buy)

A New Hampshire sodbuster is up against the ropes and feeling it when he makes an errant oath: "I'd sell my soul for two cents if I could!" Enter His Most Despicable Oneness (charmingly sleezy as rendered by Walter Huston) and trouble comes with him. Who can save the day? Very nearly post expressionist German in style and substance this creative fantasy has stood the test of time gracefully.
December 26, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

Edward Arnold comes through again, this time as the legendary Daniel Webster, a lawyer and statesman who seemed more myth than man. Unfortunately, the bulk of the movie is about Jabez Stone, a simple farmer with a deep voice who likes to say "consarnit!" alot (and I do mean alot). Early in the movie, he makes a deal with the devil to become wealthy and have good fortune, and from that point on, we're shown the evils that money brings. Anne Shirley is the really beautiful actress playing his wife Mary, and Jane Darwell (Ma Joad from "the Grapes of Wrath") plays his loudly concerned mother. There's very little in the way of character development going on, outside of the typical 1940s hayseed dialogue (at one point, one of the characters cringe-inducingly says to another "that's mighty white of you"). Perhaps the only element with any sort of shocking undertone was the character "Belle" (as played by Simone Simon). As the devil's seductress, she basically kicks the wife out of the house and steals her son away. Jabez even builds a mansion just for her. Surely risque business for the 40s. It's not until the last 20 minutes that Daniel Webster and the devil actually duke it out, and it's a little anti-climactic at that. On the plus side, there's some outstanding direction and use of lense-smudging to create an eerie effect on the "jury of the damned". In spite of some corny cheesiness, it's still a worthy classic.
May 21, 2009
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Well made film with powerful imagery that somehow sticks in your mind for days. Still holds up.
February 28, 2011
threefolddado

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Devil and Daniel Webster (DE)
  • The Devil and Daniel Webster (UK)
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