Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953)

Article #1740 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-19-2005
Posting Date: 5-18-2006
Directed by Anthony Pelissier
Featuring Stanley Holloway, Peggy Cummins, Jack Watling

The devil enlists the help of a drunken actor to help him to destroy the lives of various people with the help of his new invention – Television.

Yes, here’s another cinematic attack (in the grand tradition of MURDER BY TELEVISION, TRAPPED BY TELEVISION and THE TWONKY) on that most insidious of evils, the cathode ray tube. At least this one knows it’s a comedy from the outset. It shows how television destroys the lives of all whom it touches; it drains the money away from a elderly retiree, destroys the marriage of a young couple, and turns a respected pharmacist into a madman and a thief. Good heavens, it’s worse than alcohol or drugs! No, the movie is hardly convincing, but I don’t think it’s trying to be. Still, the third story (about the effect that an anonymous lonely hearts singer has on the imagination of an unhappy young man) actually has a touch of poignancy to it amid the laughs. Ernest Thesiger has a small but memorable role as a cantankerous pharmacist who refuses to dispense drugs to handle any ailments which he deems to be the result of divine punishment. All in all, it’s a fun if inconsequential comedy. And it even takes a potshot at the 3-D craze before it’s all over.

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