Oh, God! You Devil
|Oh, God! You Devil|
Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Paul Bogart|
|Produced by||Robert M. Sherman
Irving Fein (executive producer)
|Written by||Andrew Bergman|
|Music by||David Shire
Jack Hayes (orchestrator)
|Edited by||Andy Zall|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$21,538,850 (domestic)|
Oh, God! You Devil is a 1984 American comedy film starring George Burns, Ted Wass, Ron Silver and Roxanne Hart. Directed by Paul Bogart and produced by Robert M. Sherman. The screenplay is by Andrew Bergman. Oh, God! You Devil is the third and final installment in the Oh, God! film series following Oh, God! (1977) and Oh, God! Book II (1980), based on the novel of the same title by Avery Corman.
The movie tells the story of a struggling rock musician, Bobby Shelton (played by Wass), who cannot get a break. Bobby, desperate to support his wife and start a family, muses that he would sell his soul to the Devil to get ahead. The devil begins to appear to Bobby as a prospective agent called Harry O. Tophet and offers Shelton a deal--seven years of unprecedented fame and fortune. Shelton balks at the deal and so Tophet renegotiates claiming that it will be for a "trial period." Shelton signs the document, but his signature transforms into that of Billy Wayne, the last person to whom Tophet offered this deal, and soon after Bobby realizes he has sold his soul to the devil.
Shelton discovers that, though he now has the fame he wanted, he has lost his identity--he is now Billy Wayne. As such, his family is now someone else's--the former Billy Wayne, whose life Tophet now controls. He also discovers that his wife is pregnant with his child. Realizing that he is trapped, Bobby Shelton asks for help from God, who has been watching over him. God appears and offers to help.
During a climactic poker game between God and the Devil over Bobby's soul, God raises the stakes. He claims he will stop protecting all those on "his list" in exchange for Bobby's soul (meanwhile, Bobby, under Tophet's machinations, is about to kill himself). If God wins, the Devil would be prevented from meddling with any of those on the list, even if they beg for his assistance. Considering the loss too high, Tophet folds, and finds that God had been bluffing and that part of the reason he had intervened for Bobby was because The Devil had become too arrogant.
Bobby rises from the floor of the dressing room, leaving behind the corpse of Billy Wayne who had committed suicide. In the end, God meets with Bobby and tells him about how his father once prayed for him when he was a sick child, and that since then, God has kept his eye on him. After warning Bobby that next time he will not bail him out, Shelton returns to happiness in a simple life with his loving wife and daughter. Years later, his daughter becomes ill and Bobby says the same prayer that his father did. The movie ends with Bobby, God, and the spirit of Bobby's father singing to his daughter, "Fugue for Tinhorns" from the musical Guys and Dolls.
- George Burns as God and the Devil (Harry O. Tophet)
- Ted Wass as Bobby Shelton
- Ron Silver as Gary Frantz
- Roxanne Hart as Wendy Shelton
- Eugene Roche as Charlie Gray
- Janet Brandt as Mrs. K
- Robert Desiderio as Billy Wayne
- John Doolittle as Arthur Shelton
- Julie Lloyd as Bea Shelton
- Belita Moreno as Mrs. Vega
- Jason Wingreen as Hotel Manager
- Susan Peretz as Louise
- Robert Picardo as Joe Ortiz
- Arthur Malet as Houseman
- James Cromwell as Priest
- Arnold Johnson as Preacher
- Brandy Gold as Bobby's Daughter
- Lois Wilde as Casino Patron (uncredited)
After the success of Oh God Warner Bros approached other writers for sequels. They commissioned Josh Greenfield to write one and Andrew Bergman another. Bergman rewrote a play he had on his shelf about a songwriter who sells his soul to the devil. "Not a good play, but it was there sitting on my shelf,"he says. "For me it was just an attempt to salvage something that I thought was a cute idea and was going nowhere. Also, I wanted to work with George Burns. This to me was linking up with a previous era of comedy... George was just the most fantastic person. He’s so smart. Every single thing he said was funny.”
- Maslin, Janet (November 9, 1984). "Oh God You Devil (1984) MOVIES: BURNS IN 'OH GOD! YOU DEVIL'". The New York Times.
- Snetiker, Marc (9 January 2015). "Andrew Bergman on writing 'Blazing Saddles,' 'Striptease,' 'Honeymoon in Vegas' and more". Entertainment Weekly.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Oh, God! You Devil|