Movie Mirrors Index

Angel On My Shoulder

(1946 b 100')

En: 6 Ed: 7

The devil offers a dead gangster a chance to live again as a judge so that he can get even with his murderer. The gangster finds the judge has a fiancée, but the devil wants something in exchange.

Gangster Eddie Kagle (Paul Muni) gets out of prison and is picked up by Smiley (Hardie Albright), who says their business has made money and then shoots him. Eddie finds himself in hell and is told he is dead. The devil who goes by Nick (Claude Rains) wants to defeat a judge who looks like Eddie and offers to help Eddie get Smiley. Nick takes Eddie back to Earth, and in a courtroom the judge collapses. Nick fuses Eddie into the body of Judge Fredrick Parker. Dr. Matt Higgins (Onslow Stevens) tells Barbara (Anne Baxter) to let the judge get some rest. Albert (George Cleveland) wakes up Eddie, who realizes he has a body. Eddie treats Albert crudely and asks for a ticket to St. Louis. Eddie opens the safe and takes some money. On a plane Eddie finds Nick, and engine trouble makes them go back. Albert tells Barbara that the judge is acting peculiarly. Eddie comes back, and Barbara embraces him. Nick advises Eddie. Barbara takes Eddie to give a speech in the race for governor. Nick asks him to tell them off for putting him in prison; but opponents throw fruit at him, and he fights them.

Eddie wants to smooch with Barbara and drinks bourbon but chokes on it and gets drunk. A cab driver hears Eddie and reports to the gang, and they call Smiley. Eddie asks a lawyer for a bribe of $25,000; but when he sees the client is his ex-girlfriend Rosa, he gives it back. Matt advises Barbara to have the judge withdraw from the race, but she disagrees. A gangster tells Smiley that Eddie is back and sends him to the judge. Barbara shows Eddie the house that is being built for them and says she loves him. Eddie considers his options. He drives her car, and police arrest him. Barbara reported it stolen and says she does not know him. Eddie tells her that he is changing. She asks him to marry her right away. They go to a minister who is practicing his sermon. He tells Eddie that the devil has no power over a good man. Eddie goes to Nick, who says he has to take Eddie back. Eddie says he is through with the devil. Eddie tells Barbara he can't marry her because it would be wrong.

At home Eddie finds Smiley sleeping and takes his gun, but he listens to the angel on his shoulder. Smiley tries to bribe the judge and then recognizes Eddie. Smiley drops his gun and falls out the window. Nick tells Eddie that he has to take him back, but Eddie says he has a new boss. Nick reminds Eddie that he is making Barbara unhappy, and he can't be the judge. Eddie says he will go back if Nick lays off Barbara and the judge for life. Eddie calls Barbara to come over and says he is going away. The judge calls Barbara. Eddie leaves with Nick and expects to be a trustee so that Nick won't look bad.

This spiritual fantasy indicates that actions have consequences and shows how death can give one a new perspective on life. By being thrown into the life of a completely different person, Eddie comes to realize that goodness has its rewards.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index