The Devil and Max Devlin (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)

The Devil and Max Devlin (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Devil and Max Devlin Photos

Movie Info

The title character, a nasty landlord (Elliott Gould), is killed in a car accident and descends into hell. There he meets the Devil (Bill Cosby), who promises him his life back if he can find three people willing to sell their souls in three months.

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Bill Cosby
as Barney Satin
Elliott Gould
as Max Devlin
Susan Anspach
as Penny Hart
Adam Rich
as Toby Hart
Sonny Schroyer
as Big Billy Hunniker
Julie Budd
as Stella Summers
David Knell
as Nerve Nordlinger
Sonny Shroyer
as Big Billy
Chuck Shamata
as Jerry Nadler
Stanley Brock
as Counterman
Ted Ziegler
as Billings
Reggie Nalder
as Chairman
Sally K. Marr
as Mrs. Gormley
Helene Winston
as Agent Hargraves
Madelyn Cates
as Mrs. Trent
Stu Gilliam
as Orderly
Susan Tolsky
as Nerve's Mom
Denise Du Barry
as Secretary
Vernon Weddle
as Justice of the Peace
Ruth Manning
as Mrs. Davis
Ernest Harada
as Motorcycle Scout #1
Bill Saito
as Motorcycle Scout #2
Joseph Burke
as Steven (Devil Council)
Tak Kubota
as Bruce (Devil Council)
Army Archerd
as Himself
Mark Andrews
as Jock #3
Sheila Rogers
as Mrs. Pepper
Pete Renaday
as Studio Engineer
Roger Price
as Old Man
Mindy Sterling
as Fan #1 at Grammy's
Richard Lasting
as Fan #2 at Grammy's
Richard Crystal
as Award Presenter
Steve Eastin
as Larry Binder
James Almanzar
as Ticket Taker
Nick Angotti
as TV Reporter
Jackie Russell
as Carnival Kid's Mom
Gary Morgan
as Record Store D.J.
Ted Noose
as Officer
Robert V. Barron
as Mr. Pepper
Wally K. Berns
as Fan at Party
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Devil and Max Devlin

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

The script has its moments, especially when Cosby is around as the Devil's aide, but the film finally subsides in a welter of structural flaws and heartwarming sentiment.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The performances are attractive though, with one exception, not especially memorable.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Despite an encouraging start, the film degenerates into typical Disney sentimentality.

Full Review… | December 21, 2011
TV Guide

I loved this as a kid. It didn't hold up well, once I grew up.

July 23, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Clumsy ol' Disney comedy.

July 26, 2002

Audience Reviews for The Devil and Max Devlin


"The Devil and Max Devlin" is a forgotten relic of a bygone era, and it's one film that really should have stayed lost. It comes from a time when Disney was certainly trying to change their image with more adult fare, but for a "PG" rated film from the Mouse House, this is shocking and tasteless. It's also bland and terribly unfunny, but that really is the least of its problems. It casts the notoriously squeaky-clean Bill Cosby as a disciple of Hell, and perhaps even worse, it gives him nothing to do. It's basically a supporting role, and the star is given nothing funny to do or say. Apparently, he was only cast in the role for shock value. And there is plenty here that is shocking or surprising. The subject matter is quite disturbing, especially for a film of this nature. The story is essentially Elliott Gould corrupting innocent people, including an eleven-year-old boy, and getting them to sell their soul to the Devil in order to take his place in Hell. Adam Rich, the boy, is seen wandering a carnival alone until Gould befriends him and takes him on rides. It's the film's creepiest, most unsettling moment. And naturally, the boy's mother agrees to marry this stranger who picks up her son at a carnival. But I guess that's not as bad as his new stepfather getting his stepson to sign a contract damning him to eternal Hellfire. And this is an alleged family comedy. "The Devil and Max Devlin" is an embarrassing misstep for the beloved studio. What were they thinking?

Timothy Sanders
Timothy Sanders

THE first movie my family ever rented. You know back in the day when you had to rent the VCR too. It came in a big bulky plastic case like a musical instrument. The kind that had the top that popped up so you had to slide the tape in and press the whole thing back down. Wow.

Sean Gillespie
Sean Gillespie

Super Reviewer


Peppered with 80's cheese, less than satisfying performances by it's leads, and cliched overbearing morality lessons this was quite a disappointment and a blemish on Cosby's resume.

Jason Wilkerson
Jason Wilkerson

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