7.2/10
1,994
36 user 12 critic

The Devil's Disciple (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, History, Romance | 20 August 1959 (USA)
The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors:

Guy Hamilton, Alexander Mackendrick (uncredited)

Writers:

John Dighton (screenplay), Roland Kibbee (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... The Rev. Anthony Anderson
Kirk Douglas ... Richard Dudgeon
Laurence Olivier ... Gen. Burgoyne
Janette Scott ... Judith Anderson
Eva Le Gallienne ... Mrs. Dudgeon
Harry Andrews ... Maj. Swindon
Basil Sydney ... Lawyer Hawkins
George Rose ... British Sergeant
Neil McCallum Neil McCallum ... Christie Dudgeon (as Neil Mc Callum)
Mervyn Johns ... Rev. Maindeck Parshotter
David Horne ... Uncle William
Erik Chitty ... Uncle Titus
Allan Cuthbertson ... British Lieutenant
Percy Herbert ... Edict Sergeant
Phyllis Morris Phyllis Morris ... Wife of Titus
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Storyline

In a small New England town during the American War of Independence, Dick Dudgeon, a revolutionary American Puritan, is mistaken for local minister Rev. Anthony Anderson and arrested by the British. Dick discovers himself incapable of accusing another human to suffer and continues to masquerade as the reverend. The minister's wife, Judith, is moved by Dick's actions and mistakenly interprets them as an expression of love for her. In spite of his protestations she finds herself romantically attracted to him. Brought before British commander General Burgoyne, Dudgeon displays his willingness to die for his principles. At the last minute Dick is saved from ministerial pursuits to become a revolutionary leader. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One devil of a motion picture !

Genres:

Comedy | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El discípulo del diablo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was started by Director Alexander Mackendrick, but he left shortly after production began and was replaced by Guy Hamilton. See more »

Goofs

Dudgeon crosses the ankles of his father's body. In a subsequent shot, the ankles are seen uncrossed and then crossed again as Dudgeon leaves. See more »

Quotes

General John Burgoyne: Martyrdom, it is where one achieves fame without ability.
See more »

Connections

Version of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: The Devil's Disciple (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
traditional 18th Century Anglo-American folk song
Heard under main title
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unfortunate waste of talent
9 February 2002 | by bobc-5See all my reviews

Laurence Olivier is a British general surrounded by mediocrity and outnumbered by rebel forces who won't give him a fair fight. Burt Lancaster is a pacifist minister trying to protect his innocent parishioners, most of whom haven't yet taken any side in the Revolutionary War. Kirk Douglas is a bright-eyed ne'er-do-well, interested only in himself. Put three great actors like this together and you're bound to get great results, right?

Wrong. I completely fail to see how this movie can get such good reviews here. The first 50 minutes of the movie just barely avoid being downright awful. Olivier and Lancaster do next to nothing, while Douglas hams it up so bad that even the audience should feel embarrassed. Janette Scott, as Lancaster's wife, is forced to play a character with no discernible intelligence or personality whatsoever.

Have some patience, however, and you will eventually be rewarded. Lancaster and Douglas both experience sudden character changes. Lancaster gets a chance to be entertaining while Douglas' performance becomes excellent once he tones it down a bit. Allowed finally to interact with these two, Olivier becomes a valuable asset. The resulting 30 minutes is a high-spirited action adventure film with a light comedic touch and occasional witty dialogue. With the handicap of the terrible start, however, this is still nothing more than a pleasant but unremarkable diversion.


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