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Angel on My Shoulder
In "Angel On My Shoulder" (1946), Mephistopheles wants to make good—or rather, very bad—use of a gangster’s thirst for revenge. When Eddie Kagle (Paul Muni) is murdered, "Nick" persuades him to take over the body of Judge Frederick Parker with the hope of derailing the man’s career before he can put a real dent in Nick’s enterprise: the corruption of souls. But Eddie’s own plans to take revenge on the former colleague who murdered him have him inadvertently foiling Nick’s plans. To further complicate matters, Judge Parker’s fiancée inspires Kagle to imagine what life might be like for someone who chooses good over evil.
The acting in "Angel" is particularly noteworthy. Mephistopheles/Nick is played by Claude Rains with an urbane humor somewhat reminiscent of his portrayal of Captain Louis Renault in "Casablanca" (1942). Paul Muni won an Academy Award Winner for his role in "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936) and played another homicidal gangster in the 1932 version of "Scarface." Anne Baxter, who plays Judge Parker’s fiancée Barbara Foster, was another Academy Award Winner for her work in "The Razor's Edge" (1946).
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