Angel on My Shoulder

Angel on My Shoulder

5.0 1
Director: Archie Mayo

Cast: Anne Baxter

     
 

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Paul Muni managed to look anguished even when playing comedy, and Angel on My Shoulder is no exception. Muni has every right to be uncomfortable; a recently murdered gangster, he finds himself roasting in Hell. Muni can't believe that he's in for All Eternity and keeps trying to "bust out," which brings him to the attention of the Head Man (Claude Rains), whoSee more details below

Overview

Paul Muni managed to look anguished even when playing comedy, and Angel on My Shoulder is no exception. Muni has every right to be uncomfortable; a recently murdered gangster, he finds himself roasting in Hell. Muni can't believe that he's in for All Eternity and keeps trying to "bust out," which brings him to the attention of the Head Man (Claude Rains), who calls himself Nick. Nick strikes a bargain with Muni: There's a troublesome honest judge on Earth who's been shipping too many souls to Hell; if Muni will take over the judge's body and begin performing bad deeds, Nick will set him free. Muni readily agrees, eager to settle the score with the ex-partner (Hardie Albright) who bumped him off. Once he "becomes" the judge, however, Muni discovers that he is utterly incapable of performing any misdeeds--and when he falls in love with the judge's fiancee (Anne Baxter), Muni becomes determined to wriggle out of his agreement. Angel on My Shoulder is a dexterously clever comedy/fantasy, based on a story by Harry Segall, whose previous play Heaven Can Wait was filmed as Here Comes Mr. Jordan, with Claude Rains going against his diabolical grain as a Heavenly Emissary!

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The flip side of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Angel on My Shoulder is an amusing and engaging fantasy comedy that suffers a bit from its structural similarities to the earlier "repossessed body" picture. The gimmick in Angel, of course, is that it is the Devil that is offering a soul a second chance at life, and for nefarious reasons; but the basic throughline is much the same as in the Jordan. Still, Angel has its own style of humor, with its fish-out-of-water premise given a few nice twists, and the screenplay in general bubbling along with snappy dialogue and nifty little turns. Angel works, however, because of it gives its two male leads the chance to shine. Paul Muni over-the-top performance is a load of fun, made the more so when one realizes that it's over the top in a remarkably controlled way. This fine actor knows that there are ways to underplay one's overplaying, and he demonstrates this time and again throughout. As the Devil, Claude Rains makes "sinister" seem like a heavenly compliment. He rages, he thrashes, he insinuates, he cajoles, and it's all as appealing as one might wish. Add in Anne Baxter, doing quite well with a "reactive' part, and some swiftly paced direction by Archie Mayo and the result is a spiffy way to pass some time.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2003
UPC:
0089859824326
Original Release:
1946
Rating:
NR
Source:
Vci Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
31,529

Special Features

Interactive motion menus; Dolby Digital Mono; Scene access; Cast bios; Bonus classic 1940 RKO comedy short starring Leon Errol, titled "Lord Epping Returns," with Dorothy Granger, Harry Harvey and Claire Carleton

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Muni Eddie Kagle,Judge Parker
Anne Baxter Barbara Foster
Claude Rains Nick,The Devil
Onslow Stevens Dr. Matt Higgins
George Cleveland Albert
Erskine Sanford Minister
Marion Martin Mrs. Bentley
Hardie Albright Smiley Williams
James Flavin Bellamy
Murray Alper Jim (uncredited)
Joan Blair Brazen girl in Hell (uncredited)
Maurice Cass Lucius (uncredited)
Chester Clute Kramer (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee Gangster (uncredited)
Joel Friedkin Malvola (uncredited)
Sol (Saul) Gorss Gangster (uncredited)
Jonathan Hale Chairman (uncredited)
Noble Johnson Trustee (uncredited)
Kurt Katch Warden (uncredited)
Edward Keane Prison Yard Captain (uncredited)
Mike Lally Gangster (uncredited)
Fritz Leiber Scientist (uncredited)
George Meeker Mr. Bentley (uncredited)
Sarah Padden Agatha, Minister's Wife (uncredited)
Addison Richards Big Harry (uncredited)
Lee Shumway Bailiff (uncredited)
Duke Taylor Gangster (uncredited)
Archie Twitchell Police sergeant (uncredited)
Ben Welden Shaggsy (uncredited)
Russ Whiteman Intern (uncredited)

Technical Credits
Archie Mayo Director
Howard A. Anderson Special Effects
George Arthur Editor
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Asa Boyd Clark Editor
Al Clark Editor
Maria P. Donovan Costumes/Costume Designer
Bernard Herzbrun Art Director
Roland Kibbee Screenwriter
Robert Martien Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry Redmond Special Effects
Charles R. Rogers Producer
Harry Segall Screenwriter
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
James Van Trees Cinematographer
Frank Webster Sound/Sound Designer
Ern Westmore Makeup

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [1:11]
2. Straight to Hell [7:04]
3. A Cold Day [8:34]
4. Fusion [7:10]
5. Getting Acquainted [7:38]
6. Back in Business [7:09]
7. The Speech [8:26]
8. Old Vices [4:17]
9. Plans Discovered [3:11]
10. Bribe Attempt [4:23]
11. Concern for Judge [2:18]
12. Imaginary House [6:33]
13. Part of the Deal [7:47]
14. Stolen Car [4:46]
15. The Wedding [6:11]
16. Revenge [9:07]
17. Saying Goodbye [5:08]
18. Closing Credits [:12]

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