“Angel on My Shoulder” is a classic American fantasy film released in 1946, directed by Archie Mayo and starring Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, and Claude Rains. The movie tells the story of Eddie Kagle (Paul Muni), a notorious gangster who is killed while trying to escape from the police.
After his death, Eddie is sent to Hell, where he meets Nick (Claude Rains), the Devil himself. Nick is impressed with Eddie’s cunning and offers him a deal: Eddie will be sent back to Earth, but in the body of a virtuous man named Judge Frederick Parker, who is about to die of a heart attack. Eddie agrees, hoping to use his new identity to take revenge on his former associates.
Once on Earth, Eddie discovers that Judge Parker was a beloved figure in the community, and he soon finds himself torn between his desire for revenge and his growing love for Judge Parker’s fiancee, Barbara Foster (Anne Baxter). As he struggles to come to terms with his new life, Eddie begins to question whether his deal with the Devil was worth it.
Meanwhile, Nick is keeping a close eye on Eddie, waiting for him to slip up so he can claim his soul for Hell. When Eddie finally does fall into temptation and reveals his true identity to his former associates, Nick appears to claim his soul. However, Eddie is saved at the last minute by the intervention of a mysterious stranger who turns out to be the real Judge Parker, returned from the dead.
In the end, Eddie is redeemed by his sacrifice, and he is allowed to ascend to Heaven with Judge Parker, leaving Nick to his eternal damnation. The movie concludes with Eddie looking down from Heaven, watching as Barbara mourns his passing and realizing that he has finally found true happiness and peace.
Harry Segall, Roland Kibbee
Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, Claude Rains