7.3/10
1,846
34 user 11 critic

The Devil's Disciple (1959)

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 »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

AWOL marine Sgt. Jim O'Hearn is court-martialed for a variety of offenses that carry 143 years in the stockade or the death penalty but refuses to aid in his own defense.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Chuck Connors
Certificate: 14 Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Yankee sea captain has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia.

Directors: Byron Haskin, Burt Lancaster
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Joan Rice, André Morell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fugitive Bill Saunders and lonely nurse Jane Wharton are crossed by fate when he hides out in her apartment.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Burt Lancaster, Robert Newton
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a Scottish sanitarium, a brilliant research psychiatrist works on a treatment for dementia precox. He falls for his altruistic female lab assistant and they begin a passionate tragic relationship.

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: James Stephenson, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Donald Crisp
Rope of Sand (1949)
Adventure | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man abused by a sadistic mining company cop before he could tell where on their desert property he'd found diamonds decides to steal them instead.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Ten Tall Men (1951)
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.

Director: Willis Goldbeck
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jody Lawrance, Gilbert Roland
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A scientist obsessed with the past transports himself back in time to 18th-century London, where he falls in love with a beautiful young woman.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Tyrone Power, Ann Blyth, Michael Rennie
Action | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The career of Revolutionary War naval hero from his youth in Scotland through his service to Catherine the Great of Russia.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Robert Stack, Marisa Pavan, Charles Coburn
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Racketeers flood the market with counterfeit cosmetics and drugs, causing some tragedies.

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Charles Farrell, Bette Davis, Ricardo Cortez
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A D.A. investigates 3 white teenagers accused of murdering a blind Puerto Rican kid.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Mister 880 (1950)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Gentle romantic comedy about a Secret Service Agent trying to catch a cold case counterfeiter and a United Nations translator.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Edmund Gwenn, Dorothy McGuire
Edit

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
Edit

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:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El discípulo del diablo See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Third of seven movies that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together. See more »

Goofs

As the British troops are clearing the felled trees in the forest, General Burgoyne summons Swindon to his carriage. As Swindon presents himself, he inexplicably salutes with his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Give a Major Swindon enough rope, and he'll always hang somebody.
See more »

Connections

Remake of The Devil's Disciple (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Gentleman Johnny" Gets the Best Lines
30 April 2004 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

There is little point denying that the greatest dramatist in England in the 20th Century was George Bernard Shaw. He was a great wit, and he had a view of society that he felt needed expressing in one play after another. But there was something irritating about him that has prevented him from overtaking Shakespeare in drama writing: His desire to give his views on this societal problem or that one led to polemics taking over his writings, so that the plays, even when good, can be uneven. He also displayed a monstrous ego at times that did not deserve to be admired or applauded by the public for most of his ninety three or four years.

In 1897 he had only a handful of plays that had been produced to show his talents: WIDOWERS HOUSE and MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION were the best of these, and the second had been banned by the Lord Chamberlain's office for treating the subject of prostitution as a business. He decided to do a play with one of London's leading actor managers of the time: Mr. William Terris. But while negotiating with Terris to appear in this play. a madman stabbed Terris to death. Looking around for another actor, Shaw contacted Mr. Richard Mansfield, thus beginning a brief business relationship with that stage star. Mansfield produced THE DEVIL'S DESCIPLE in America, where it was a big success (Mansfield also played Dick Dudgeon).

Shaw was looking at good and evil in the play, with Dudgeon being an anti-religious type who was cynical. But Dudgeon demonstrates a sense of right and wrong and compassion that is missing from the other characters in the play, making the title very ironic - Dick may boast of worshiping the Devil, but he never hurts anyone. In the play, because of his fast life style, the local Puritanical townspeople (especially his mother) disapprove of him, and all but ostracize him. Then his father's will is read, and they realize he is rich (and the other heirs, especially his mother are poor). Since they are hypocrites, the lucky break for Dick makes them even more vicious toward him (his mother cursing him before she dies). So far so good for Shaw.

As I said, the play begins well, and continues fine - introducing high comedy when General Burgoyne appears. Burgoyne was a dramatist too, so Shaw liked him. And here the play (and movie's) problems begin to be felt. Shaw was writing the play in a period that the Whig historians, like George Otto Trevelyan, wrote the history of the American Revolution. Trevelyan's books became best sellers, and were well researched. But he wrote of the Revolution as the backdrop of English Revolutionary spirit as well. To Trevelyan, the English lost the war due to the ineptitude of the Tory regime of Lord North. One example of this was the story of how General Burgoyne's brilliant plan to split the northern colonies in half and conquer both halves one at a time was ruined when the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord George Germain, failed to send vital plans to General Sir William Howe to link his men with Burgoyne. Instead, Sir William headed for Philadelphia, which he occupied, and heard nothing about Burgoyne until the latter surrendered in October 1777.

The play builds up to a comic misunderstanding between the British and Dudgeon, whom they arrest thinking he is the Reverend - Dick was alone with the wife of the Reverend at the time, and assumes the latter's personality because he does not want a scandal to break out. Soon the Reverend (who supports the Revolution) faces a court martial, with the whimsical Gentleman Johnny asking questions. Although the result is a foregone conclusion, (the British have already hanged Dick's father as the movie begins), Burgoyne is annoyed to discover after the verdict is about to be given that Dick is not the Reverend.

This is all in the film, and it still works, especially with Olivier's perfect performance as the British general, who is facing defeat but won't lose his cool about it. But Shaw's source, George Otto Treveylan, is no longer supported by students of history - he is regarded as a Whig who ignored the many errors of his own party, to concentrate on the failures of Lord North and his Tories. One mistake is the story of Lord George Germain's failure to send Sir William Howe his plans, because Lord George felt he had to go on his personal vacation to the country, and would not wait to send out those vital plans. It is not true, after all. Lord George did send Sir William the plans, but Howe ignored them, going out to capture Philadelphia instead.

"History will lie as usual" says Burgoyne to Major Swindon. Ironically, Shaw pushed the lie as truth himself. Now everyone who sees the play or film believes that Lord George Germain's vacation plans lost the Revolution. Not really. The forests of upper New York State, the lack of good roads, the immense supply train played vital, the vigor of Benedict Arnold as an American general led to Burgoyne's surrender. But that was not as amusing as Lord George Germain's "failure" to send the vital plans. One recalls the end of John Ford's LIBERTY VALANCE: When given a chance to print the truth of the legend, print the legend!


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed