Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon, Gene Lockhart, John Qualen, H.B. Warner, Frank Conlan, Lindy Wade, George Cleveland, Anne Shirley, James Craig
Written by: Dan Totheroh, Stephen Vincent Benet, based on a short story by Stephen Vincent Benet
Directed by: William Dieterle
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 107
Date: 10/17/1941
IMDB

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Soul Feud

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Composer Bernard Herrmann's Oscar-winning first score provides eerie atmosphere for this excellent, high-class genre film featuring amazing special effects, spooky photography and Walter Huston as the Devil, called "Mr. Scratch." Farmer Jabez Stone (James Craig) trades his soul for seven years of prosperity. When his time is up, Daniel Webster (Edward Arnold) comes to the rescue. Simone Simon co-stars as a temptress sent to seduce the poor farmer. The fim was also released as All That Money Can Buy. Director Dieterle was an actor in Germany before moving to the U.S. in the early 1930s. He also directed The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939).

DVD Details: The Criterion Collection's 2003 DVD comes with commentary track, by film historian Bruce Eder and Bernard Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith, a reading of Stephen Vincent Benet's short story by Alec Baldwin, and many other goodies.

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