Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Catch As Scratch Can

A devil, to knot-headed hick
lends cash and a hot-blooded chick
The bargain comes due,
rube whimpers boo-hoo
and hires a lawyer who's slick

The Devil and Daniel Webster (William Dieterle, 1941), aka All That Money Can Buy (andl other titles). Walter Huston steals the show as the devilish Mr. Scratch, Simone Simon is lovely as temptress Belle Dee, and James Craig is a lunkhead as farmer Jabez Stone. I wouldn't say he sinks the film, but it's hard to identify with him. The film's structure doesn't help, as he spends most of the story as a lout, then gets bailed out by Edward Arnold (not pictured), excellent as lawyer Daniel Webster. Thanks to Backthrow for the title. Photos: The guy doesn't know film from a hole in his butt (he gave up on Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner after 9 minutes), but he takes a great screen cap. Love that flaming carrot in the top pic.

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