Poor Devil (1973)

Poor Devil Poster

A young, down-on-his-luck resident of hell is given a chance to redeem himself by signing up a down-on-his-luck retail accountant to sell his soul to Lucifer.

Film Overview
"Poor Devil" is a 1973 American made-for-television comedy-drama fantasy movie directed by Robert Scheerer. Written by William Peter Blatty, it was transmitted as an NBC Movie of the Week on February 14, 1973. The alluring movie merges funny with dark dream, including noteworthy actors like Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Klugman, Adam West, and Christopher Lee.

Plot and Characters
"Poor Devil" informs the story of Sammy, a low-ranking devil potrayed by Sammy Davis Jr., who works in the furnace space of Hell shoveling coal for his pressing boss, Lucifer, played by Christopher Lee. Sammy dislikes his job and imagine making a promotion so he can leave his grim circumstances behind. To get ahead, he needs to encourage a living human to sell his soul to Lucifer.

Jack Klugman plays a dissuaded San Francisco bank clerk called Burnett J. Emerson who ends up being Sammy's target. After losing out on a promo at the bank to an arrogant coworker (played by Adam West), Burnett is feeling outcast and discontented with his life. Seeing an opportunity, Sammy appears to Burnett, guaranteeing him wealth, success, and the love of a more youthful female, in exchange for his soul.

Considerable Scenes
Burnett is at first doubtful however ponders the offer, specifically when he sees his competitor's sweetheart. However, after a series of comic experiences and recklessness, he stays unswayed by Sammy's efforts. Burnett eventually gets a taste of how corrupt and deceitful his monopolizing associate is, and declines Sammy's offer of selling his soul.

In an iconic scene, Sammy tries one last time to convince Burnett by producing an illusion of a wonderful life, loaded with high-end, where he is the boss and his rival works for him. But Burnett declines.

Climax and Conclusion
In the climax, Sammy, desiring to please Lucifer and fed up with stopping working, decides to risk everything. He assures Lucifer that he can deliver Burnett's soul to save his own skin. Together with Lucifer, they make a final effort to encourage Burnett. Nevertheless, Burnett stands strong, verifying his decision.

Enjoying in his victory, Burnett leaves, leaving Sammy and Lucifer in despair. Seeing no other way to meet his guarantees, Sammy confesses his failure to Lucifer. In an unforeseen twist of humor and pity, Lucifer chooses to not punish Sammy, however instead grants him a possibility to attempt again with another human.

Legacy and Influence
"Poor Devil" got a combined action from viewers, however it is praised for its unique storyline and strong performances, particularly those of Davis Jr. and Lee. The film's representation of humor integrated with darker undertones of the idea of hell and soul-selling had a substantial effect on pop culture, influencing later films in the category. Regardless of its lackluster reaction from the audience, "Poor Devil" has become a cult classic, kept in mind mainly for the fascinating efficiencies of its stellar cast.

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