William Dieterle

The Devil and Daniel Webster

The Devil and Daniel Webster

Jabez Stone is a hard-working farmer trying to make an honest living, but a streak of bad luck tempts him to do the unthinkable: bargain with the Devil himself. For seven years of good fortune, Stone promises “Mr. Scratch” his soul when the contract ends. When the troubled farmer begins to realize the error of his choice, he enlists the aid of the one man who might save him: the legendary orator and politician Daniel Webster. Directed with stylish flair by William Dieterle, The Devil and Daniel Webster brings the classic short story by Stephen Vincent Benét to life with inspired visuals, an unforgettable Oscar-winning score by Bernard Herrmann, and a truly diabolical performance from Walter Huston.

Film Info

  • William Dieterle
  • United States
  • 1941
  • 106 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  • Spine #214

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder and Bernard Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith
  • Reading of Stephen Vincent Benét’s short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by acclaimed actor/director Alec Baldwin
  • Comparison between The Devil and Daniel Webster and the earlier preview version of the film, Here Is a Man
  • The Columbia Workshop’s radio dramatizations of Stephen Vincent Benét’s short stories “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “Daniel Webster and the Sea Serpent,” both featuring music by Bernard Herrmann
  • The music of The Devil and Daniel Webster, presented in an interactive essay by Christopher Husted of Bernard Herrmann's estate
  • Gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional materials
  • New essay by author Tom Piazza and a reprinted article by Benét
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

New cover by Jennifer Lui

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Audio commentary by film historian Bruce Eder and Bernard Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith
  • Reading of Stephen Vincent Benét’s short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by acclaimed actor/director Alec Baldwin
  • Comparison between The Devil and Daniel Webster and the earlier preview version of the film, Here Is a Man
  • The Columbia Workshop’s radio dramatizations of Stephen Vincent Benét’s short stories “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “Daniel Webster and the Sea Serpent,” both featuring music by Bernard Herrmann
  • The music of The Devil and Daniel Webster, presented in an interactive essay by Christopher Husted of Bernard Herrmann's estate
  • Gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and promotional materials
  • New essay by author Tom Piazza and a reprinted article by Benét
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

New cover by Jennifer Lui

The Devil and Daniel Webster
Cast
Edward Arnold
Daniel Webster
Walter Huston
Mr. Scratch
Jane Darwell
Ma Stone
Simone Simon
Belle
Gene Lockhart
Squire Slossum
John Qualen
Miser Stevens
Anne Shirley
Mary Stone
James Craig
Jabez Stone
Credits
Producer
William Dieterle
Director
William Dieterle
Associate producer
Charles L. Glett
Screenplay
Dan Totheroh
Screenplay
Stephen Vincent Benét
Short story by
Stephen Vincent Benét
Music composed and conducted by
Bernard Herrmann
Director of photography
Joseph August
Art director
Van Nest Polglase
Associate art director
Al Herman
Special effects by
Vernon L. Walker
Costumes by
Edward Stevenson
Set decorations by
Darrell Silvera
Recorded by
Hugh McDowell Jr.
Recorded by
James G. Stewart
Editing
Robert Wise
Assistant director
Argyle Nelson
Dialogue director
Peter Berneis

From The Current

The Devil and Daniel Webster:
The Devil Gets The Best Lines

Director William Dieterle’s 1941 film adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benét’s short story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster‚” is a melodramatic fever dream, a hallucinatory tour de force in which marvelous, evocative effects and extraordinary p…

By Tom Piazza


Sep 30, 2003
The Devil and Daniel Webster

Few films have had as exalted, or as tumultuous, a history as The Devil and Daniel Webster. Directed and produced by William Dieterle at RKO after his triumphant Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Devil and Daniel Webster is the finest of the ambitious pro…

By Bruce Eder


Jan 14, 1992