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, for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Innerspace, Matinee, Small Soldiers, The ‘burbs and the 3-D thriller titled The Hole, first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival. His TV directing work includes:  the HBO film, The Second Civil War, the “Masters of Horrors” titles,  Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, episodes of Eerie, Indiana , which he was in on the creation of, as well as episodes of CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0 and Salem. His latest feature, the zom-com Burying the Ex, is currently available on VOD.