Poor Devil (1973)

Article 3032 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-26-2009
Posting Date: 12-2-2009
Directed by Robert Scheerer
Featuring Sammy Davis Jr, Christopher Lee, Jack Klugman
Country: USA

An incompetent devil is given a last chance by Lucifer to get someone to sell his soul.

This was one of the TV-Movies I actually got a chance to see as a kid; I probably was attracted to a cast of very familiar names. Nevertheless, I was quite disappointed with the movie; it was nowhere near as funny as I hoped it would be. I like it a little better watching it now, but only a little; the script is weak and full of bad dialogue, but it has a few good moments. For me, the most enjoyment comes from seeing Christopher Lee having a lot of fun as Lucifer. Sammy Davis Jr. is a little over the top, but Klugman was just fine, and Adam West makes for a good unctuous villain. However, it seems as if the devil’s powers are severely limited to say the least; if it’s this difficult to do the requested task, it would be a surprise that anyone would go to hell. This was apparently intended as a pilot for a series, but I wonder if it would have sold even if the script was better; this type of comedy might have flown in the late sixties, but by this time sitcoms were working in a much more realistic mode, and this one would have come across as badly dated. Still, it would have been interesting to see Christopher Lee as a regular in a sitcom…


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