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Angel On My Shoulder


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Angel On My Shoulder Movie Trailer

Angel On My Shoulder a 1946 American fantasy film about a deal between the Devil and a dead man.

The film was an independent production, produced by Charles R. Rogers and David W. Siegel, directed by Archie Mayo, written by Harry Segall (who also wrote the screenplay for Here Comes Mr. Jordan and the play Heaven Can Wait) and Roland Kibbee, and released by United Artists. The film was Mayo's last before his retirement.

It starred Paul Muni, Anne Baxter and Claude Rains. The producer changed the original title, Me and Satan, when he concluded that the public would not see a film about the Devil.

After his release from prison, gangster Eddie Kagle (Paul Muni) is killed by his partner in crime, Smiley Williams (Hardie Albright). Kagle ends up in Hell, where "Nick" (Claude Rains) offers him a chance to escape hell and avenge his own death in exchange for help with a problem. Kagle looks exactly like Judge Frederick Parker, an upright man who is causing Nick distress because he is entirely too honest. Nick fears that Parker may cause him more anxiety in future, as he is running for governor of his state. Nick wants to destroy Parker's reputation and Kagle readily agrees to have his soul transferred into Parker's body.

As soon as Kagle appears as Parker, odd things begin to happen. Kagle pursues his goal with evil intent (though often at cross purposes with the Devil), but everything he does to ruin the judge's reputation somehow results in making Parker look better. Along the way, Kagle falls in love with Barbara Foster (Anne Baxter), the judge's fiancée, causing him to question his whole outlook on life and eventually rebel against Nick.

Nick presents Kagle the opportunity to shoot Williams, but instead Kagle confronts the man with the truth. Shocked and frightened, Williams backs away and falls out an open window to his death.

Exasperated and defeated, Nick takes Kagle back to Hell, leaving Judge Parker in a much better position than before. Nick threatens to make the reformed man's punishment even more painful than usual, but Kagle blackmails his would-be tormentor; in return for not revealing Nick's blunders, Kagle wants to be made a trustee. Nick has no option but to agree to Kagle's demands.


Paul Muni as Eddie Kagle/Judge Fredrick Parker

Anne Baxter as Barbara Foster

Claude Rains as Nick

Onslow Stevens as Dr. Matt Higgins

George Cleveland as Albert

Erskine Sanford as Minister

Marion Martin as Mrs. Bentley

Hardie Albright as Smiley Williams

James Flavin as Bellamy

The film is now in the public domain in the United States, because the producers, Rogers and Siegel, neglected to renew the copyright in 1973.

The film was remade for TV in the late 1970s, with Peter Strauss, Richard Kiley and Barbara Hershey in the lead roles (below). It was directed by veteran John Berry, as one of several TV movies he made in the 1970s and 1980s. It was first showed by ABC on 11 May 1980.

An adaptation of the film was written and produced by Todd Baker around 2004.

Directed by Archie Mayo

Produced by Charles R. Rogers

Screenplay by Roland Kibbee

Story by Harry Segall

Music by Dimitri Tiomkin

Cinematography: James Van Trees

Edited by Asa Boyd Clark

Production company: Premier Productions

Distributed by United Artists

Release dates: September 20, 1946 (US) - September 27, 1946 (UK)

run time: 100 minutes B/W

Under Section 107 of The Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

above notes from
poster image: same
movie: DAV FL 70 Webmaster private collection

Angel On My Shoulder 1980

A gangster who was wrongfully executed for a killing is promised leniency from Satan if he returns to earth in the body of a lawman who is trying to stamp out evil. Trouble is, the dead man has a hard time being evil enough to get revenge. Stars Peter Strauss, Richard Kiley and Barbara Hershey

run time: 91 minutes 44 seconds in Color

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