The Devil And Max Devlin

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Devil And Max Devlin (1981 Movie)

“The Devil and Max Devlin” is a 1981 fantasy comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. The movie was directed by Steven Hilliard Stern and stars Elliott Gould, Bill Cosby, and Susan Anspach.

The story follows Max Devlin (Elliott Gould), a ruthless and greedy landlord and real estate developer known for evicting tenants to make way for his projects. After he dies in a car accident, he finds himself standing before the Devil (Bill Cosby) in Hell. The Devil offers Max a chance to escape eternal damnation by striking a deal with him. Max must convince three innocent souls to sign their contracts with the Devil in exchange for his second chance at life on Earth.

Max accepts the deal and returns to Earth in the form of a nerdy, unattractive man named Barney Satin. He starts his mission to find three people to sign the contracts. However, things get complicated when he befriends Toby Hart (played by David Knell), a young and kind-hearted musician who is struggling to make it in the music industry. As Max gets to know Toby and his sister Andrea (played by Julie Budd), he begins to question his previous heartless actions and starts to feel remorse.

As the story unfolds, Max must make a difficult choice between carrying out his deal with the Devil and protecting the innocent souls he has grown to care for.

“The Devil and Max Devlin” explores themes of redemption, empathy, and the consequences of one’s actions. It blends humor with heartfelt moments and offers a unique perspective on the afterlife and the nature of good and evil.

The film received mixed reviews from critics but has gained a small cult following over the years. It is not as well-known as some other Disney movies, but it remains a charming and enjoyable fantasy comedy for audiences who appreciate its blend of comedy and moral lessons.

Overall, “The Devil and Max Devlin” showcases Disney’s attempt to explore more mature themes while still maintaining its signature comedic style. It may not be as iconic as some of Disney’s other films, but it remains an interesting addition to the studio’s diverse filmography.

Fun Facts

  • The film features Susan Anspach as Penny Hart, a single mother and tenant of Max Devlin, who becomes an important character in Max’s journey of redemption. The movie combines elements of comedy, fantasy, and heartwarming moments as Max attempts to change his ways.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $16 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Elliott Gould: Max Devlin
  • Bill Cosby: Barney Satin
  • Susan Anspach: Penny Hart
  • Adam Rich: Toby Hart
  • Julie Budd: Stella Summers
  • Sonny Shroyer: Big Billy Hunniker
  • David Knell: Nerve Nordlinger
  • Chuck Shamata: Jerry Nadler


  • Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
  • Producer: Jerome Courtland
  • Music: Buddy Baker

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and