Angel on My Shoulder (1946)

95 or 100-101 mins | Comedy-drama, Fantasy | 20 September 1946

Director:

Archie Mayo

Producer:

Charles R. Rogers

Cinematographer:

James Van Trees

Editor:

Asa Boyd Clark

Production Designer:

Bernard Herzbrun

Production Company:

Premier Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was Me and Satan . The film begins with the following written foreword: "This story is about Eddie Kagle, who based his way of living on what Omar Khayyam once said: 'Live fully while you may and reckon not the cost.'" A 15 Aug 1944 HR news item notes that the filmmakers wanted Ann Dvorak to star in the film. A 16 Jun 1946 NYT news item notes that actors Paul Muni and Claude Rains and director Archie Mayo all suffered from the flu during production, which prolonged shooting time from the scheduled nine weeks to thirteen weeks. Clarence Eurist replaced Jack Sullivan as assistant director when the latter died unexpectedly. The face of the character of "Frederick Parker" is only seen when inhabited by "Eddie's" soul. Harry Segall, who receives original story credit on this film, also wrote the original story for the 1941 Columbia film Here Comes Mr. Jordan , which had a very similar plot (see below). Angel on My Shoulder was remade for television in 1980. That film was directed by John Berry and starred Peter ... More Less

The film's working title was Me and Satan . The film begins with the following written foreword: "This story is about Eddie Kagle, who based his way of living on what Omar Khayyam once said: 'Live fully while you may and reckon not the cost.'" A 15 Aug 1944 HR news item notes that the filmmakers wanted Ann Dvorak to star in the film. A 16 Jun 1946 NYT news item notes that actors Paul Muni and Claude Rains and director Archie Mayo all suffered from the flu during production, which prolonged shooting time from the scheduled nine weeks to thirteen weeks. Clarence Eurist replaced Jack Sullivan as assistant director when the latter died unexpectedly. The face of the character of "Frederick Parker" is only seen when inhabited by "Eddie's" soul. Harry Segall, who receives original story credit on this film, also wrote the original story for the 1941 Columbia film Here Comes Mr. Jordan , which had a very similar plot (see below). Angel on My Shoulder was remade for television in 1980. That film was directed by John Berry and starred Peter Strauss. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Sep 1946.
---
Daily Variety
16 Sep 46
p. 3, 15
Film Daily
18 Sep 46
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 46
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 46
p. 3, 6
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Jan 46
p. 2559.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Sep 46
p. 3210.
New York Times
16 Jun 1946.
---
New York Times
21 Oct 46
p. 27.
Variety
18 Sep 46
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dress
COSTUMES
Gowns supv by
Men's ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and dir by
SOUND
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Photog eff
Transparency projection
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Me and Satan
Release Date:
20 September 1946
Production Date:
early January--late March 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Premier Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 September 1946
Copyright Number:
LP574
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95 or 100-101
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Soon after his release from prison, gangster Eddie Kagle is killed by his longtime friend and associate, Smiley Williams, and wakes in Hell. When Eddie realizes what has happened, he immediately attempts to break out of Hell and avenge his death. His actions draw the attentions of Nick, the Devil, who notices Eddie's close resemblance to Frederick Parker, an incorruptible judge who is running for governor. Nick offers to help Eddie escape and get even with Smiley, if he, in turn, will help Nick destroy Parker's reputation. Eddie readily agrees and, accompanied by Nick, returns to earth. Nick causes Parker to faint, and while he is unconscious, transfers Eddie's soul into Parker's body. Eddie's first impulse is to murder Smiley. With this in mind, he uses some of Parker's money to buy a gun and charter an airplane. Nick has other plans for Eddie, however, and the plane suddenly develops engine trouble and returns to the field. Barbara Foster, Parker's fiancée, is unaware that Eddie's soul now inhabits Parker's body, and consequently, Eddie's crude behavior convinces her that Parker is mentally ill. Nonetheless, she prompts Eddie to deliver Parker's scheduled political speech. At the auditorium, Eddie, encouraged by Nick, verbally attacks the people who have been Parker's supporters. When opposition hecklers pelt Eddie with rotten vegetables, however, he angrily beats them up, making Parker appear to be a virile hero, rather than the turncoat that Nick had envisioned. The next day Parker is to preside over a murder trial. Eddie offers to fix the result for money, but when he learns that one of the suspects is Rosie, his ... +


Soon after his release from prison, gangster Eddie Kagle is killed by his longtime friend and associate, Smiley Williams, and wakes in Hell. When Eddie realizes what has happened, he immediately attempts to break out of Hell and avenge his death. His actions draw the attentions of Nick, the Devil, who notices Eddie's close resemblance to Frederick Parker, an incorruptible judge who is running for governor. Nick offers to help Eddie escape and get even with Smiley, if he, in turn, will help Nick destroy Parker's reputation. Eddie readily agrees and, accompanied by Nick, returns to earth. Nick causes Parker to faint, and while he is unconscious, transfers Eddie's soul into Parker's body. Eddie's first impulse is to murder Smiley. With this in mind, he uses some of Parker's money to buy a gun and charter an airplane. Nick has other plans for Eddie, however, and the plane suddenly develops engine trouble and returns to the field. Barbara Foster, Parker's fiancée, is unaware that Eddie's soul now inhabits Parker's body, and consequently, Eddie's crude behavior convinces her that Parker is mentally ill. Nonetheless, she prompts Eddie to deliver Parker's scheduled political speech. At the auditorium, Eddie, encouraged by Nick, verbally attacks the people who have been Parker's supporters. When opposition hecklers pelt Eddie with rotten vegetables, however, he angrily beats them up, making Parker appear to be a virile hero, rather than the turncoat that Nick had envisioned. The next day Parker is to preside over a murder trial. Eddie offers to fix the result for money, but when he learns that one of the suspects is Rosie, his former girl friend, who married another man while he was in jail, he vows to do everything possible to ensure her conviction. Dr. Max Higgins then persuades Barbara to take Eddie away for a brief rest, hoping it will restore the judge to health. Barbara drives Eddie to the site where Parker and she are building a house. As they talk, Eddie, who has fallen in love with Barbara, realizes what he missed when he became a criminal. Barbara presses for an immediate marriage and Eddie agrees, but after he hears the minister's sermon, he realizes that she belongs to the judge and calls off the wedding. Meanwhile, acting on a suggestion from Nick, Parker's opponents bring Smiley to town and send him to Parker's house. Nick reports Smiley's presence to Eddie, who, because of Barbara's influence, understands that he will be doing wrong if he kills Smiley. Rather than listen to Nick, Eddie heeds the "angel on his shoulder" and refuses to take revenge on his enemy. A confused Smiley then accidentally falls off Parker's balcony to his death. Eddie now agrees to accompany Nick back to Hell, if Nick agrees to leave Barbara and Parker alone for eternity. Nick has no choice but to accept Eddie's terms. After Eddie says goodbye to a mystified Barbara, Nick returns Parker's soul to his body and he and Eddie descend into Hell. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.