Angel on My Shoulder (film)
Directed by Archie Mayo
Produced by Charles R. Rogers David W. Siegel
Written by Harry SegallRoland Kibbee
Starring Paul MuniClaude RainsAnne Baxter
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) September 20, 1946 (1946-09-20)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English


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Angel on My Shoulder (film)

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Angel on My Shoulder is a 1946 American fantasy film about a deal between the Devil and a dead man. It 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, Claude Rains and Anne Baxter. The original title was Me and Satan changed by the producer when he realised that people would not see a film about the Devil.


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Gangster Eddie Kagle (Paul Muni) is killed by his partner and trusted friend since childhood, Smiley Williams (Hardie Albright). Kagle ends up in Hell, where "Nick" (Claude Rains) offers him an opportunity for revenge in exchange for help with a problem. He looks exactly like Judge Frederick Parker, an upright man who is entirely too honest and liable to cause more trouble in future, since he is running for governor of his state. Kagle readily agrees.

Nick arranges to have Kagle take over Parker's body. Then, funny things start happening. Kagle pursues his goal with evil intent (though often at cross purposes with the Devil), but everything he does to smear the judge's reputation somehow ends up making Parker look better. Along the way, Kagle becomes acquainted with Barbara Foster (Anne Baxter), the judge's fiancée. He falls in love with her himself, causing him to question his whole outlook on life. Finally, he rebels.

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

Exasperated and defeated, Nick takes Kagle back to Hell, leaving Judge Parker much better off than before. Nick threatens to make the reformed man's existence even more painful than usual, but Kagle blackmails his would-be tormentor; in return for not talking about how Nick messed up so badly, Kagle gets himself made a trustee.


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  • 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

Copyright status

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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. Outside of the U.S., the film's rights status varies from country to country, with the worldwide remake rights retained by producer Todd Baker. It was remade once for television in 1980, starring Peter Strauss as Eddie and Richard Kiley as Nick. The film was released at 100 minutes, with the currently-shown print on Turner Classic Movies running somewhat longer.

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