The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941

The Devil and Daniel Webster

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,985

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Movie Info

Farmer Jabez Stone (James Craig), about to lose his land, agrees to sell his soul to the devil (Walter Huston), known as Mr. Scratch, who gives Jabez seven years to enjoy the fruits of his sale before he collects. Over that time, Jabez pays off his debts and helps many neighboring farmers, then becomes an advocate for the upstanding Sen. Daniel Webster (Edward Arnold). When Jabez's contract with Mr. Scratch concludes, he desperately turns to Webster to represent him in a trial for his soul.

Cast & Crew

Edward Arnold
Daniel Webster
Walter Huston
Mr. Scratch
James Craig
Jabez Stone
Gene Lockhart
Squire Slossum
John Qualen
Miser Stevens
Lindy Wade
Daniel Stone
Charles L. Glett
Associate Producer
Joseph H. August
Cinematographer
Robert Wise
Film Editor
Bernard Herrmann
Original Music
Darrell Silvera
Set Decoration
Edward Stevenson
Costume Designer
Stephen Vincent Benet
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for The Devil and Daniel Webster

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (18)

Audience Reviews for The Devil and Daniel Webster

  • Dec 26, 2011
    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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2009
    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.
    Devon B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2008
    i wasn't too inspired as some people seem to be by it but it had a strong script. the acting was average and where did that maid come from? the woman that was looking after the son... meh, didn't make sense! i haven't even mentioned the way there's so much... "look how great we are in the USA" going on in it. people actually believe that tripe? honest politicians in the big apple? it's like it was made for children to view. spoonfed morals
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2008
    Solid, entertaining and thoughtful.
    Morris N Super Reviewer

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