Joe Dante on

The Devil and Daniel Webster

Released 1941
Distributor RKO Radio Pictures

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.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.