Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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The first part is a drag.
Another film about the mythological devil, hell, heaven and otherwordly beings is not needed and has been thoroughly done in Hollywood before. Here Comes Mr. Jordan used this same plot with a few twists.
The plot in this is therefore lighthearted and fun if you understand this is myth. If, like many religious folk, you take the plot points as sacred doctrine not to be questioned, this becomes a religious film that is beyond the pale of discussion.
Taking the lighthearted approach, the performances here makes the movie. Paul Muni is believable as the gangster come back to life, and Anne Baxter does a fine job as his fiancee. Claude Rains as the erudite devil, and George Cleveland as Albert, round out an impressive and cohesive cast.
Paul Muni's a little bit of fun with his take on the Mob/Italiano/New Yorker-circa-1930's pastiche and Claude Rains his cynical foil - no less than the devil himself - as a crooked mug returns from Hell to upset the applecart of an upstanding Joe Judge Guy. Anne Baxter only has to be sexy ... no problem for her. It's an enjoyable ride.
Paul Muni in one of his best roles as a murdered gangster who agrees to help the Devil eliminate an honest judge. This is in the genre of movie, most notably Here Comes Mr. Jordan and Heaven Can Wait, involving a dead person returning to Earth and occuping another's body. The twist in the case of Angel on My Shoulder was that Muni was an evil person who returns from Hell to assist the Devil, rather than being a good person, pre-maturely killed, who returns from Heaven to resume his life.
As with all movies of this genre, much of the plot involves more difficult for evil
man to pass himself off a honest\Muni cultural shock
With a good script, excellent actors and enough darkness to give the essentially sentiment tale an edge without destroying its good nature, Angel on My Shoulder is a wonderfully entertaining comedy that makes its point with enough of a dramatic edge to make you care about the ghostly Kagle's ultimately rather bleak, if deliberately chosen, fate. The ending is redemptive, sure, but a completely happy outcome isn't what you can expect. There is always a price to pay for salvation.
Angel on my Shoulder was written by Harry Segall, who is also known for the similarly afterlife-themed Here Comes Mr Jordan (1941) -- later turned into a play (and a movie) under the title Heaven Can Wait. In Here Comes Mr Jordan the protagonist is a boxer who dies too early due to an inexperienced angel's over-enthusiasm and is subsequently given a second chance in the body of a murdered millionnaire. In this film, Claude Rains plays an archangel who accompanies the lost soul on his quest to remake the dead millionnaire's life in his own image. His Mr Jordon shares many characteristics with Angel on my Shoulder's Nick, particularly his dry sense-of-humour -- though there are important differences between the roles. Rains is magnificent as a Satan who is both personable and darkly sardonic, occasionally allowing a hint of underlying cruelty to emerge through a glance or a subtle gesture.
Angel On My Shoulder is sort of like Here Comes Mr. Jordan in reverse. In that film, a soul in heaven gets transported back into a human body. In this one, a soul in hell makes the same trip, though for different reasons. Both films have Claude Rains doing the work: in the earlier film, he played an angel; this time he plays the devil.
Paul Muni plays a gangster, returning with the devil to inhabit the body of a judge and corrupt him. The logic and theological soundness of the premise is as absurd as in Here Comes Mr. Jordan, but as a fantasy, the rules make just enough sense to provide a basis for the story, which is a nice character piece with some whimsical twists. I liked the way the devil's plans kept going awry even before Muni's character has his inevitable change of heart. Evil, being akin to chaos as good is to order, doesn't cooperate very well with itself, even when it tries.
Muni and Rains are fantastic, individually and together. I was dissatisfied with the closing scene, and I have mixed feelings of admiration and confusion for how the romantic subplot developed, but I enjoyed the film despite these reservations.
A gangster killed by his partner after his release from the penitentiary finds himself in hell. The devil decides to use him in a plot to discredit a judge who he resembles who has been contributing in a big way to a recent shortage of help in hell.
What this movie boils down to is a reworking of HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, only from the opposite direction. It even borrows Claude Rains from that movie, and the actor is quite capable of playing both the angelic Mr. Jordan and Nick the devil himself. Rains steals the movie from the main star, Paul Muni, who was considered one of the finest actors in Hollywood at one time, but his star had definitely faded; in this movie, he seems mannered, and you get the feeling he's playing a character rather than becoming the character. As you might expect from Hollywood during this time, the devil definitely gets the bad end of the deal, though it is interesting to see how the gangster fares in the bargain. It is quite amusing to see how the gangster's anger and bad temper actually contribute to making the judge look like a hero.
In the film Hell is a fascinatingly torrid place, all shot in exaggerated shadow lighting that suggests an intriguing collaboration between the eschatological fantasy and film noir. Amidst this Claude Rains maintains a wonderfully droll sinister presence - his appearances always come emphasized with subtle lighting effects.
What this all boils down to is that "Angel on My Shoulder" is an entertaining twist on the usual idea of a soul returning from heaven to inhabit a body. But because it is built on the same building blocks as these heaven movies it does suffer from being too familiar and that ends up equating to ordinary.
Excellent story of redemption through being given a second chance on earth, although this is not the said mission for the gangster who's persona is acceptably overplayed by Paul Muni. Anne Baxter provides a fine romantic foil.
good comedy but nothing new here's the formula: "i married a witch"+ "heaven can wait"+ "a guy named joe"- WWII= this one
A good movie with an original storyline. The melodramatic "hell" and the fanciful flames is the downfall of this movie. A good watch.
Pretty decent movie that kept my interest throughout as I wanted to kind of see what was going to happen next. Interesting characters and an interesting storyline with decent acting really kept this movie going at a good pace. Even the end kind of surprised me.
A great film, pitting the good nature of man against the Devil played brilliantly by Claude Rains.
Although the tape I rented was of bad quality, I was able to see that this was a great movie, I loved it. It's a twist on the story of the guy who dies but gets another chance by going back to earth. It's really worth checking out.