masters of cinema
The Devil and Daniel Webster

The Devil and Daniel Webster

William Dieterle ,

Film Summary

Country:

Language:

Year:

Runtime:

106

Aspect Ratio:

1.37:1

Colour:

Black & White

Certificate:

U

Subtitles:

English (optional)

Genre:

Movie Classic

A morality tale for the ages, émigré Hollywood director William Dieterle’s The Devil and Daniel Webster (aka All That Money Can Buy) combines European expressionism with quintessential Americana. Based on a short story by celebrated author Stephen Vincent Benét, it offers a study in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, in which patriotism is cast in dramatic conflict with servitude to greed and materialism.

Echoing the German legend of Faust, down-on-his-luck farmer Jabez Stone (James Craig) makes an existential pact with the devil – seven years of prosperity in return for his soul. When the devil incarnate Mr. Scratch (Walter Huston) comes a-calling, Stone begins to have second thoughts, enlisting famed orator and folk hero Daniel Webster (Edward Arnold) to fight what becomes, for each of them, a case of life and death.

 

The Devil and Daniel Webster was widely lauded on its release – Bernard Herrmann’s score won an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture, while Huston was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role – and is still regarded as an American classic. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Dieterle’s film for the very first time on home video in the UK.

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Deleted:

  • New high definition digital transfer of the director’s cut (the film was severely shorn following its original release)
  • Optional SDH English subtitles for the hearing impaired
  • Here Is A Man – preview version comparison [4:38]
  • 60-page book with archival imagery; an essay by Tony Williams; an article by William Dieterle; and a celebration of the film by author Stephen Vincent Benét, whose The Devil and Daniel Webster short story is reprinted in its entirety

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