ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER (1946)
Article #317 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 1-26-2002
Posting date: 6-12-2002
A gangster killed by his partner after his release from the penitentiary finds himself in hell. The devil decides to use him in a plot to discredit a judge who he resembles who has been contributing in a big way to a recent shortage of help in hell.
What this movie boils down to is a reworking of HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, only from the opposite direction. It even borrows Claude Rains from that movie, and the actor is quite capable of playing both the angelic Mr. Jordan and Nick the devil himself. Rains steals the movie from the main star, Paul Muni, who was considered one of the finest actors in Hollywood at one time, but his star had definitely faded; in this movie, he seems mannered, and you get the feeling he’s playing a character rather than becoming the character. As you might expect from Hollywood during this time, the devil definitely gets the bad end of the deal, though it is interesting to see how the gangster fares in the bargain. It is quite amusing to see how the gangster’s anger and bad temper actually contribute to making the judge look like a hero.