Shortcut to Happiness

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Shortcut to Happiness
Shortcut to Happiness.jpg
Movie poster
Directed by Alec Baldwin (credited as "Harry Kirkpatrick")
Produced by Randall Emmett
George Furla
Bob Yari
David Glasser
Written by Pete Dexter
Bill Condon
Nancy Cassaro
Stephen Vincent Benet (story)
Archibald Macleish (play)
Starring Alec Baldwin
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Anthony Hopkins
Dan Aykroyd
Kim Cattrall
Amy Poehler
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Christopher Young
Cinematography Adam Holender
Distributed by Yari Film Group
Release date
  • July 13, 2007 (2007-07-13) (U.S.)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25,000,000

Shortcut to Happiness is a 2003 film adaptation of the Stephen Vincent Benet classic short story The Devil and Daniel Webster. It stars Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anthony Hopkins. Baldwin also directed the film. Shot in early 2001 in New York City, the film was plagued with financial difficulties and was shelved for several years. Yari Film Group released the film to theaters in 2007.


Jabez Stone (Alec Baldwin) is a desperate, down on his luck writer who hits rock bottom when his close friend, Julius Jensen (Dan Aykroyd), finds success. In his attempts to get his work published, he meets a beautiful stranger (Jennifer Love Hewitt) who offers him a chance at fame and fortune in exchange for his soul. Stone, having lost faith in himself, agrees to the offer.

After accepting the deal Jabez is quickly lavished with all he had ever dreamed of. A book deal, money, women, notoriety, Stone now has it all. However, despite the success, he is losing the friendship, respect and trust of those around him. Coming to the realization that he didn't quite get everything he bargained for, Stone begs the Devil to release him from their deal. When the Devil scoffs he turns to famed orator Daniel Webster (Anthony Hopkins). The two conclude that they should take the battle to court with Webster defending Stone in an otherworldly trial against the Devil in the ultimate battle of wits in a fight over the fate of Stone's soul.


Production history[edit]

Shot in early 2001 in New York City, the film was plagued with financial difficulties. During post-production Baldwin had said the movie was taken from him.[1] Due to this and other creative differences, Baldwin had his name removed from the directing credit; the name was ultimately replaced with the pseudonym "Harry Kirkpatrick".[2] Bob Yari bought the film from a bankruptcy court for an undisclosed amount, which was said to be several million dollars. Once the film was cleared to be sold for distribution, a rough cut was screened at film festivals in 2003 and 2004, though much of the film's post-production work was not finished. The film needed further financing to complete the editing and special effects, as well as to replace temporary music.

In July 2006 it was announced that Yari's company would work on finishing the film.[3] In 2007 the Yari Film Group announced the acquisition of the film and distribution plans.[4]

Shortcut to Happiness has aired on Starz and Showtime.


This film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for language and sexual content.


Shortcut to Happiness has received mostly negative reviews.[5]


  1. ^ Baldwin says Feds have seized his debut film
  2. ^ 'New Life for Baldwin Devil', NY Post, 2007-01-14
  3. ^ IMDB
  4. ^ "Bedeviled pic finds distributor". Variety.
  5. ^ Rotten Tomatoes

External links[edit]