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      The Devil and Daniel Webster

      Released Oct 29, 1941 1h 47m Fantasy List
      100% Tomatometer 23 Reviews 84% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings 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. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Nov 29 Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (23) Critics Reviews
      Derek Smith Slant Magazine William Dieterle’s All That Money Can Buy is a peculiar and fascinating blend of the populist agitprop of the 1930s and the patriotic hokum that defined much of the war years. Mar 19, 2024 Full Review Anton Bitel Little White Lies 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 Feb 27, 2009 Full Review James Kendrick Q Network Film Desk if I were to pick the devil’s greatest screen incarnation, it would have to be Walter Huston’s leering, egotistical Mr. Scratch, whose snake-oil charm and seedy menace are conveyed with a wide, toothy grin, a Popeye squint, and vigorous cigar chomping Rated: 4/4 Apr 25, 2024 Full Review Aaron Neuwirth Why So Blu I was entirely on board with what this story had to offer, the greatness of these performances by Huston and Arnold, and the handling of its creepiness given the specific nature of the film. After all, the devil is in the details. Rated: 8/10 Apr 11, 2024 Full Review Michael J. Casey Michael J. Cinema "All That Money Can Buy" is a movie so audacious, so stylish, so outré it ought to be better known. Filmmakers in the 1940s had many rules and guardrails to watch out for. And they found just as many ways around them. Rated: 4/5 Mar 26, 2024 Full Review Jeff Beck The Blu Spot All That Money Can Buy may follow a rather predictable trajectory, but it's easily able to rise above above it thanks to its wonderful cast and several memorable, marvelously-fashioned sequences that perfectly encapsulate the film's dark themes. Rated: 3.5/5 Mar 13, 2024 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (115) audience reviews
      Lucy M I adore it. My all-time favorite. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/26/22 Full Review dave s For those who enjoy a good bible-thumper of a movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster should fit the bill. For those who roll their eyes at anything that sniffs of bible-thumping, the movie will probably induce more eye-rolling than anything else. When Jabez (James Craig) sells his soul to Mr. Scratch (Walter Huston) in exchange for seven-years of financial prosperity, things are looking good. However, over time, greed consumes his personality and he ultimately turns to Daniel Webster (Edward Arnold), the godfather of his son, for assistance. The acting is great (especially Huston), the cinematography and lighting are outstanding, and the story is interesting. It's all good, as long as you don't mind a couple of hours of shameless proselytizing. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review william d I give director Dieterle credit for trying to create something different. The atmosphere and look of the film is unusual. Unfortunately, the script is very weak and the acting is subpar (with the exception of Edward Arnold). Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member The movie is based on the story of the same name by Steven Vincent Benet, and while I cannot claim that it depicts New Hampshire natives properly (I wouldn't know), it does successfully show how people can be driven to deal with the Devil out of despair...and how sudden wealth can change a decent man over time. The story starts with Jabez Stone, a man who lives with his wife and mother on a small farm, and already in serious debt to local loan shark Stevens, he suffers a series of misfortunes and in desperation proclaims that he would sell his soul to the Devil for two cents...and finds himself holding two cents. Then a mischievous stranger calling himself "Scratch" comes to Jabez and talks him into signing a contract in his blood, in return for seven years of prosperity, and to begin with he is granted "Hessian gold" with which he pays off his debts. Jabez even uses his new wealth to help others...but over time, the wealth eats away at his morals, with the person of Belle arriving to help that along. Eventually Jabez talks to Daniel Webster, visiting the town, and comes to finally realize what has happened to him. The characters all act realistically, with Scratch being an impish Devil while Daniel Webster is perfectly portrayed, with Belle being beautiful but subtly menacing. As for the "jingoism" that some reviewers have complained about, the movie does not fail to mention slavery or the mistreatment of Indians. I saw the 109-minute version; the story needs that length of time. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review david l The Devil and Daniel Webster would have benefited from more pronounced fantasy elements and a less overwritten plot and dialogue, but the movie looks and sounds great, its premise is strong and both Walter Huston and Edward Arnold steal the show in two meaty, very interesting roles. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review robert m One of the best movies from the great era of Americana in Hollywood. Americans in those days weren't innocent or stupid. They knew that there was plenty of crime and corruption and treachery in the United States. The gangster films presented that reality for audiences. Still, the audiences knew that America had some heroic people who were willing to fight for something good. And maybe we'll find our idealism again. "The Devil and Daniel Webster" may provide some inspiration. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis 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.
      Director
      William Dieterle
      Screenwriter
      Stephen Vincent Benet, Dan Totheroh
      Distributor
      RKO Radio Pictures
      Genre
      Fantasy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 29, 1941, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 29, 2011
      Runtime
      1h 47m
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