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The Devil and Max Devlin: A Timeless Comedy with Lessons

The Devil and Max Devlin: An Epic Comedy Film

The Devil and Max Devlin is a classic comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions in 1981. Starring some of the most prominent actors, including Bill Cosby, Susan Anspach, Elliot Gould, Adam Rich, and Julie Budd, the film tells a story of a man named Max Devlin who strikes a deal with the devil.


Max Devlin is a ruthless landlord who owns numerous properties in Los Angeles. One day, he gets hit by a bus and on his way to the underworld, he encounters the devil, played by comedian Bill Cosby.

Satan offers him a deal that he can’t refuse he can have his life back if he convinces three people to sign over their souls to the devil. Max is skeptical at first but then realizes that his own soul belongs to Satan if he doesn’t agree to the deal.

So, he accepts and embarks on a quest to find three desperate souls to sign their souls over to the devil. However, he soon realizes that he has a change of heart and doesn’t want to send anyone to hell.

This opens up a whole new set of predicaments that leads Max on an adventure of a lifetime. Throughout the movie, Max encounters a variety of peculiar characters like Billy, a young boy who believes in angels, Penny Hart, a nightclub singer, Barney Satin, a sleazy talent agent, and Miss Vesper, a nosy neighbor.

With the help of these individuals, Max sets out on a mission to right his wrongdoings and protect the souls of those he promised the devil. The film is full of witty dialogues, stunning visuals, and hilarious situations that keep the audience entertained throughout the runtime.

The characters are well-developed, and the story is unique, making it an all-time classic. Conclusion:

The Devil and Max Devlin is a must-watch film for those who love comedy, adventure, and a bit of fantasy.

It teaches us to stand up for our beliefs and do the right thing, even if it means going against the devil himself. With an incredible cast and witty storytelling, this film is a true masterpiece, and one that will be remembered for generations to come.

The plot of The Devil and Max Devlin is full of twists and turns. After striking a deal with Satan, Max sets out to find three souls who are willing to sell their souls to the devil, in exchange for his own chance at life.

The first soul he encounters is Penny Hart, a nightclub singer with an extraordinary voice. Max poses as a talent agent and convinces Penny to sign a contract that transfers her soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune.

The second soul that Max meets is a sleazy talent agent, Barney Satin, who is willing to sell his soul for riches and fame. Max knows that Barney Satin will do anything to achieve success, so he comes up with a clever ploy to get Satin to sign the contract.

Max agrees to pay him a million dollars if he can convince his client, Penny Hart, to sign the contract. Satin becomes so desperate that he signs the contract himself, not realizing that he has just sold his soul.

Throughout the film, Max finds himself developing a soft spot for Billy, a young boy who believes in guardian angels. Max knows that if he does not find a third person to sign the contract, his own soul will be lost forever.

But, he also knows that he cannot bring himself to condemn anyone to an eternity in hell. So, he decides to put his all into saving Billy’s soul from the devil.

Max soon realizes that the devil has a soft spot for children too; Satan becomes surprisingly compassionate and offers to release Max from the deal. However, there is one condition: Satan asks Max to hand over Billy’s soul to him.

Trapped between saving his own soul and saving Billy, Max makes a daring move that ultimately saves both their souls from the devil’s grasp. The plot of the movie teaches us that no matter how far gone we might believe we are, there is always redemption.

It is amazing what can happen when we open ourselves up to possibilities that we hadn’t previously considered. The power of redemption is a fundamental lesson in this classic comedy film.

The movie shows that self-interest is a recipe for disaster and leads to a life of misery and regret. In contrast, selflessness, empathy, and caring for others ultimately lead to a more fulfilling life.

Aside from the lesson of redemption, the themes of forgiveness and friendship are also prominent in the story. At its heart, The Devil and Max Devlin is a story about a man who learns to be a better person and discovers the true meaning of friendship and faith.

In his search for three souls, Max learns that the power of forgiveness is essential in life, and it’s never too late to learn from our mistakes. In conclusion, the plot of The Devil and Max Devlin is one that has withstood the test of time.

It is a timeless classic that has entertained audiences for decades. Packed with humor, adventure, and an unforgettable cast, this movie is a must-see for anyone who loves a good comedy.

Beyond its entertainment factor, the film carries deep and insightful lessons about redemption, selflessness, and forgiveness. It is a movie that will be loved and adored for generations to come.

The Devil and Max Devlin was a 1981 comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It starred Bill Cosby, Elliot Gould, and Susan Anspach.

The film’s director was Steven Hilliard Stern. In this section, we will discuss the production of the film.

The film was shot entirely in Los Angeles, California, on a budget of $7 million. The script was written by Mary Rodgers, and the film was produced by Ron W.

Miller. One of the biggest challenges of the production was to strike the right balance between humor and emotion.

The unique premise of the movie required the screenplay and the production crew to tread a fine line between spooky and comical. The producers were also mindful that the theme could be found controversial; hence there was a need to balance humor and avoid getting too divisive.

Steven Hilliard Stern, the director, and his production team solved the challenge by using an upbeat soundtrack that quickly put any viewer at ease and gave the film an easy-to-enjoy feel. They also played off the solemnity of the “morbid” subject by employing the services of Bill Cosby, who was well-known for his easy humor and laid-back style.

The effective direction, writing, acting, and pacing of the movie helped to establish it as a classic comedy and to assure audiences of its authenticity. The movie was set against the backdrop of downtown L.A., replete with seedy alleyways, vibrant discotheques, and varied restaurant scenes.

The production team worked hard to create a setting that blended ironic humor with suspense and levity, coming up with elaborate footwork to match the various locales, from Penny Hart’s performances to the creepy back alleys where Max meets Satin. The production designers, Joel Schiller and Nicholas Scaravetti, created the perfect set to embellish the movie’s storyline.

From the underworld, the devil’s office, and Los Angeles’ streets, the crew used cost-effective flashy sets that well represented a sneaky devil’s machinations and the lifestyles of the people Max Devlin would encounter. The costume designers used color extensively to emphasize Max’s manipulation by Satan, starting with black rags upon his arrival in hell, to lighter shades of clothing as he becomes more liberated from the deal with the devil.

The same grows with the other actors, who show signs of regret, awakening, or “freedom” based on how they progress in the film. In conclusion, The Devil and Max Devlin was not only an entertaining film, but it was also a work of art.

The production design, striking visuals, and excellent pacing all contributed to the film’s lasting legacy. The cast and crew’s hard work behind the scenes are evident in the final product.

The unique approach taken by the filmmakers achieved the perfect balance between humor, emotion, and suspense, making the film a timeless classic that audiences still enjoy today. The result is a masterful and well-executed production that has stood the test of time.

The Devil and Max Devlin was released in 1981 by Walt Disney Productions. The film was made with an estimated budget of $7 million and was distributed by Buena Vista Distribution.

The film premiered in Los Angeles on February 6, 1981, and was later released nationwide on February 20, 1981. It was met with mixed reviews from critics but generally well-received by audiences, grossing over $16 million at the box office.

The film’s unusual storyline and humor made it a success with younger audiences, while the presence of Bill Cosby attracted more mature viewers. The film’s humorous twist on the subject of the devil also made it a unique piece of cinema in its era.

Disney marketed the film extensively, taking advantage of the studio’s well-known brand and the presence of Bill Cosby as the devil. The movie poster featuring an animated devil holding a briefcase, along with a playful slogan: “He made a deal with the Devil Now he’s one Hell of a guy,” instantly approached the tone of the film, and made audiences aware of the light-hearted nature of the movie.

The studio also released a novelization of the movie written by Maurice Dolbier, adding to the marketing campaigns in anticipation of its release. The studio also tied in the film with other promotions such as Coca-Cola’s “Win a Demon of a Tour Sweepstakes” and McDonald’s “Win a Demon of a Contest.” These tie-ins significantly contributed to the marketing of the film and aided the film’s commercial success.

The movie was later released in the home video market and was also presented on TV as one of Disney’s Sunday night movies. The film even had an occasional syndication airplay on several television networks.

As more people became fans of the movie, the cult following that the film had started to grow. In more recent times, The Devil and Max Devlin has earned a place as one of the most memorable and top-grossing American comedies of the 1980s.

Its irresistible humor has been appreciated by many younger viewers, who may not have been fortunate enough to watch it when it was first released. To that end, Disney+ released the film, along with a plethora of older titles, on its streaming platform in 2020.

Disney’s streaming service allowed even more audiences to experience the movie, and the classic Disney movie is now readily available for newer generations to enjoy. In conclusion, The Devil and Max Devlin was a box office success, thanks in part to its creative concept, Disney’s clever promotions, an all-star cast, and effective branding.

The film’s success was also attributed to its unique mix of humor, suspense, and upbeat soundtrack, which allowed it to break out of traditional genres. Even today, the film is remembered as one of the top comedic films of the 1980s.

The Devil and Max Devlin remains an iconic film, which viewers worldwide can now access through modern technology and is an absolute must-watch for fans of unique, humorous storytelling. The Devil and Max Devlin’s soundtrack is an essential part of the film’s brilliance.

The movie’s music was composed by Buddy Baker, who was a frequent collaborator with the Walt Disney Company. The soundtrack features a mix of dance and pop music, and it perfectly complements the film’s memorable scenes.

One of the film’s most iconic tracks, “Life Aint Fair,” was performed by rock band Three Dog Night. The song is played at the beginning of the film and throughout the movie, providing an upbeat tempo and tone.

It serves as an excellent introduction to the film’s central character, Max Devlin, and sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Another memorable piece from the films soundtrack is a track titled “No Deposit No Return Blues.” This track was performed by Harry Nilsson.

The song provides a clever hint to the movie plot and acts as a background score for the films opening scenes. The melancholy piano score, complemented by Harry Nilssons clear, soulful voice, sets a tone of poignant irony that appropriately foreshadows the film’s twists and turns.

The upbeat feel of the movie’s songs is quite reminiscent of the disco and funk era. This is understandable given that the Devil and Max Devlin’s movies production and release coincide with the height of the disco age.

Thus, tracks like “Shake A Tail Feather” by The Blues Brothers and “Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep” by The Payolas, successfully manage to invoke the disco era vibes. Disney, through the soundtrack, complemented the film’s wacky humor with upbeat dance tracks.

The music made viewers feel alive and happy, quickly transitioning from sad to fun, and keeping humor present all through the movie. As a result of the importance of the music to the film, the soundtrack album for The Devil and Max Devlin was widely distributed.

A few tracks from the movie’s soundtrack have spawned their own albums in collaboration with the musicians featured therein. The Devil and Max Devlin’s timeless soundtrack is a perfect reflection of the movie’s tone and spirit.

It shows the prominence of humor, poignancy, and wittiness in storytelling. Still, it also provides an extraordinary example of the power of music to take that storytelling to another level.

In conclusion, The Devil and Max Devlin’s soundtrack is just as much a critical feature of the film as the plot, characters, or cinematography. The music’s upbeat pace perfectly complements the movie’s lighthearted nature, while the wittiness and irony of the lyrics serve as a great example of creative writing.

The soundtrack album is undoubtedly a nostalgic masterpiece of its era and remains popular with modern audiences. The soundtrack has undoubtedly proved to be timeless, with many tracks being played in variations on modern radio stations and playlists.

The soundtrack’s influence has undoubtedly served to heighten the movie’s legend and maintained its relevance for decades after its release. In summary, The Devil and Max Devlin is a timeless classic comedy film that has entertained audiences for decades.

The unique storyline, brilliant casting, and memorable soundtrack have all contributed to its lasting legacy. The film teaches essential lessons about redemption, friendship, and forgiveness, making it much more than just a hilarious comedy.

The movies success and influence have been compared to that of the geniuses behind the movie-making movement of the 1980s. It is no surprise that it has remained a favorite of so many movie buffs.


Q: Who produced and directed the movie? A: The Devil and Max Devlin was produced by Ron W.

Miller and directed by Steven Hilliard Stern. Q: What is the film’s plot?

A: The story follows Max Devlin, a ruthless landlord who strikes a deal with the devil to save his life. He must convince three people to sell their souls in exchange for his own.

Q: Who were the key cast members of the film? A: The movie starred Bill Cosby, Elliot Gould, Susan Anspach, Adam Rich, and Julie Budd.

Q: What was the budget for the movie? A: The film was made with an estimated budget of $7 million.

Q: When was the film released? A: The Devil and Max Devlin was released in 1981 after premiering in Los Angeles on February 6, 1981.

Q: What made the film a success? A: Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film’s unique storyline, the presence of Bill Cosby, and its excellent marketing campaign led to its success at the box office.

Q: What kind of music is featured in the film’s soundtrack? A: The soundtrack features a mix of disco, pop, dance, and rock music, all of which complement the film’s lighthearted tone.

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