V’17: OCTOBER 19 – NOVEMBER 2, 2017

All that Money Can Buy [aka The Devil and Daniel Webster]

V' 16

All that Money Can Buy [aka The Devil and Daniel Webster]

William Dieterle
USA, 1941
106min, OF

Quelle: Österreichisches Filmmuseum

All that Money Can Buy [aka The Devil and Daniel Webster]

William Dieterle
USA, 1941
, 106min, OF

Actors: 
Edward Arnold
Daniel Webster
Walter Huston
Mr. Scratch
James Craig
Jabez Stone
Simone Simon
Belle
Anne Shirley
Mary Stone
Screenplay: 
Dan Totheroh
Camera: 
Joseph August
Editor: 
Robert Wise
Composer: 
Bernard Herrmann
Decoration: 
Van Nest Polglase

Production: 
RKO Radio Pictures
William Dieterle Productions
Format: 
35 mm
Black/White
based on a short story Stephen Vincent Benét inspired by Goethes «Faust»

New Hampshire, 1840. Jabez Stone, who lives with his mother and wife Mary, is a poor farmer, whose mortgage is about to fall due with the local “loan shark”, “Miser” Stevens. While trying to put together some livestock and grain to pay his debt, Jabez is infuriated by various mishaps, and declares, he would sell his soul to the Devil. Thereupon, a dapper but rascally old man, introducing himself as Mr. Scratch, unearths a pot of gold beneath Jabez barn and persuades him to sign a contract, exchanging his soul in seven years time in return for wealth and good fortune. Jabez begins to prosper while the other farmers lose everything. His wife Mary gives birth to a son (named after Daniel Webster, the champion of farmers rights in Washington), but Jabez’ attention is increasingly taken over by a new seductive maid, who mysteriously appears. THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER is a curiosity. A Faustian fable securely rooted in the Folk mythology of New England, backed by religious fundamentalism and a strain of rhetoric in defense of “the Union” that smacks both of the showground huckster and earnest, hand-on-the-heart-patriotism. (Richard Combs)

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