DEVIL’S PARTNER (1961) Reviews and overview

 

‘ Half man, half beast, he sold his soul for passion!’

Devil’s Partner is a 1961 released American supernatural horror film about an old man that sells his soul to the devil. It was shot in 1958.

Directed by Charles R. Rondeau (The Munsters) from a screenplay written by Stanley Clements (actor in Spook Chasers; Ghosts on the Loose) and Laura Jean Mathews, the Huron Productions movie stars Ed Nelson (The Boneyard; A Bucket of Blood; The Brain Eaters) Edgar Buchanan, Jean Allison and Richard Crane.

Plot:

An old man sells his soul to the devil, dies and returns as a good-looking young man. He then uses witchcraft and black magic to win a woman from his rival…

Reviews:

“It’s watchable enough, but the plot is poorly thought out. The death of the old man who drinks the goat’s milk serves no purpose whatsoever, and the wino character is nothing but a badly contrived plot device to pass on crucial information to the sheriff.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Musings and Ramblings

” …competently directed and occasionally chilling. Nelson, who played dozens of heavies in episodic guest shots, is convincingly menacing and friendly, whichever the scene calls for. He got a nice “And Introducing” credit, even though he had already acted in several films, some for Roger Corman…” Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot

“At just over seventy-minutes, the movie has enough atmosphere and some truly creepy ritual sequences to make it watchable. The cast is dull, with the exception of Ed Nelson as the reincarnated younger man, who is able to achieve a balance of creepiness and attractive suavity.” Teenage Frankenstein

“Technically it is a horror film, but it lacks the fright needed to really be scary in any manner. At best, it is a little creepy at times, but in no way does the lack of scares hamper the movie in any way. A good film, Devil’s Partner is worth seeking out.” The Telltale Mind

“Director Charles R. Rondeau was a TV vet (Adam-12One Step BeyondThe Partridge Family, etc.) and most of the cast were well-travelled small screen players, so it’s not surprising that the movie plays like an extended length episode of The Twilight Zone. The acting is pretty good and Rondeau does a fine job a capturing the hot, dusty atmosphere of Furnace Flats.” Erik S., Watching Horror

Cast and characters:

  • Edgar Buchanan … Doc Lucas
  • Jean Allison … Nell Lucas
  • Richard Crane … David Simpson
  • Spencer Carlisle … Sheriff Tom Fuller
  • Byron Foulger … Papers
  • Claire Carleton … Ida
  • Brian O’Hara … Harry Matthews
  • Harry Fleer … John Winters
  • Joe Hooker … Deputy Joe
  • Ed Nelson … Nick Richards / Pete Jensen
  • Riley Hill … Frank (uncredited)
  • Hugh Hooker … Mr Johnson (uncredited)

Technical details:

  • 73 minutes
  • Audio: Mono
  • Black and White
  • Aspect ratio: 1.37: 1

Reissue title:

Enter the Devil

Production notes:

The American Film Catalog states: “Principal photography for The Devil’s Partner was scheduled to begin at Kling Studios (formerly Chaplin Studios) the week of 29 Sep 1958, as noted in the 26 Sep 1958 DV. The production company was identified as H & R Productions, a partnership between producer Hugh M. Hooker and director Charles R. Rondeau. The film was produced independently, without a distribution company attached. A 22 Oct 1958 DV news item announced that shooting had ended and editing was underway.

Several months later, the 24 Apr 1959 Los Angeles Times announced that Charles R. Rondeau was being sued for divorce by his wife, Marlys E. Rondeau, who sought interest in the film as part of her divorce settlement. Distribution rights were later sold to Roger Corman’s Filmgroup, Inc., as indicated in a 25 May 1960 DV brief, which listed a scheduled theatrical release date of Aug 1960. However, plans to debut the picture were delayed until Apr 1961, according to the 8 Feb 1961 DV. The first release to be reported in Var took place the week of 27 Jun 1961 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO. A Cincinnati, OH, opening followed in Oct 1961. The picture finally debuted in Los Angeles, CA, in late Jul 1962.”

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