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The first PG film ever released by Disney, The Devil and Max Devlin is the typical light Disney fare of Satanic influences and the intentional corruption of innocent youth. The rather unenchanting story of a grubby slumlord forced by a demon named Barney to damn the souls of three obnoxious children in order to save his own, Elliot Gould and Bill Cosby share top billing on this awkward and haphazard retelling of Stephen Vincent Benét's The Devil and Daniel Webster, even though Cosby only pops up periodically to annoy Gould's character and not make the audience laugh.
Gould is uncharacteristically unappealing throughout as he drops his past anti-establishment persona for that of middle-aged creep, and Cosby is equally unfunny in the role of humorless demonic taskmaster. Add to this the Disney demographic-driven stable of child actors, including the pig-faced Eight is Enough troubled child star Adam Rich, an unattractive Barbara Streisand wanna be, and a meager yet enhanced interrogation level soundtrack comprised of only two (!!!!) Julie Budd songs repeated ad nausea, and you have what could possibly be the most depressing and uninspiring Disney film since The Black Hole.
Disney's idea of a Bill Cosby role.
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