The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
What a sweet piece of work. Really good dialogue, and many well written and acted parts besides the obvious titular characters. Miser Stevens and Stone's mother were very good, and especially Simone Simon as the demon nursemaid/mistress.
Three emotional qualities really stand out to me:
Funny: Walter Huston as ol' Mr. Scratch was SO good. Very funny, cynical wit. Lots of little things that stand out from him, all the odd places he turns up. He's everywhere, leading the band at the parade for Dan'l, in Washington whispering in the senator's ear, playing a mean fiddle at the barn dance. His insults to Jabez Stone were priceless. The bit at the end of him ravenously devouring this huge pie was a really funny demonstration of his greed, and the final moments of examining his book for the next target are priceless.
Creepy: Between all the funny stuff were the implications of hell and damnation, but especially terror and hopelessness (Stone and Miser Stevens). The visitors at Stone's new mansion really creeped me out good. Also creepy was the infamous scene where Miser Stevens recently harvested soul comes flying out of Scratch's jacket pocket screaming for help. This also counts as funny, at least when my five year old nephew and I went around effecting high-pitched squeals begging "Help me Neighbor Stone."
Sexy: Belle, the French demon/nanny/whore that Scratch sent Jabez was hotter with her clothes on and no direct sexual behavior than the hookers making out in the elevator to entertain Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate. Note the exact tone and body language of her mocking rebuff to Stone at the barn dance saying "Oh, NO Mr. Stone- your place is with your WIFE."
The hottest thing in the movie (and one of the creepiest things) is the scene where she is singing some evil otherworldly lullaby to Stone's infant son. Rewind and watch it closely a couple of times. What was she singing?
Surely this is one of the greatest forgotten movies of the era. This should be making some of those AFI top 100 list thingeys.
Simone Simon Photo Gallery
Al's Fan Pages
More Things Home
morethings master photo gallery index boutique MP3 new album releases sammy davis shirley temple photos little richard photos buddy holly pictures fats domino images chuck berry pictures Jesus pictures leann rimes lucille ball images clint eastwood pictures beach boys janis joplin images team america pictures robert mitchum photos bruce springsteen pictures bugs bunny pictures ann coulter photos loretta lynn pictures adrian monk beatles pictures white stripes pictures andy griffith pictures kill bill pictures beverly hillbillies pictures michael jackson frank zappa pictures jerry lee lewis pictures richard pryor photos june carter johnny cash pictures u2 photos four seasons images james cagney images pulp fiction pics snoop dogg elvis presley pictures dolly parton pictures olsen twins photos cheech&chong tori amos pictures David Bowie photos roger rabbit reese witherspoon pictures rolling stones photos adrian monk kim novak images ray charles photos marx brothers pictures prince rogers nelson pictures blazing saddles images steve martin eddie murphy photos aretha franklin photos south park pictures homer simpson images bob dylan pictures elizabeth taylor photos alice in wonderland pictures madonna images saturday night live pictures willie nelson images lynyrd skynyrd hee haw pictures james brown images pete townshend photos tina turner pictures dixie chicks photos bill murray pictures elton john images emmylou harris images guns n roses pictures jodie foster photos eminem frank sinatra photos van halen images satan blondie photos merle haggard images rocky horror pictures monty python martin luther king watchmen pictures sarah palin