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Trailers from Hell: Joe Dante Says ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ Features the Greatest Satanic Performance of All Time

Trailers from Hell: Joe Dante Says 'The Devil and Daniel Webster' Features the Greatest Satanic Performance of All Time

Director Joe Dante (“Gremlins”) and co-creator of Trailers from Hell guides us through today’s Trailer From Hell feature: 1941’s “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”  Dante claims this movie contains “probably one of the greatest satanic performances of all time.”  Originally titled, “All That Money Can Buy,” the film has been long ignored, neglected, and poorly edited later on.

Here’s the synopsis from the Trailers from Hell post:

A classic piece of Americana. William Dieterle’s haunting fantasy is that rarity, a major studio art film. It’s had a rocky ride over the decades but is now available uncut on DVD after years of neglect, recuts and spotty distribution under a myriad of titles, including “All That Money Can Buy,” “Here is a Man,” “A Certain Mr. Scratch,” and “Daniel and the Devil.” As the Satan’s smolderingly sexy consort, a pre-Cat People Simone Simon must have made quite an impression on Val Lewton. Alec Baldwin directed and starred in an updated remake in 2003, which was finally released in 2007 as “Shortcut to Happiness” with Baldwin’s name removed.

Our other Trailers from Hell features this week – on Monday we showed Brian Trenchard Smith on “Daughters of Darkness,” and on Wednesday, Dan Ireland gave the talk over for “The Lair of the White Worm.”

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Jim Cooke

I look forward to seeing a complete version of the film. John Huston is always wonderful! It's a great story yet author, Stephen Vincent Benet, when we have the trial where Webster presents his argument to the jury – Benet gives us a summary of what was said. We don't read or hear the words. Webster, it should be noted, would be the last lawyer to hire if you wished to get out of a contract.


Ive always loved that film. I totally agree with Joe Dante on this one. Sad it's overlooked… It's a black comedy and maybe not a lot of people get that. If a film is not serious or ernest enough, then it also tends not to be taken seriously itself. Sadly.

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