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Give the Devil His Due


An aged dancer attempts to enter a pact with the devil to sacrifice her soul in return for her youth and skill. But she backs out of the deal at the last minute - with severe consequences.



Air Dates

  • First Run - December 23, 1974
  • Repeat - February 16, 1975





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17 Responses to Episode 0190

The fear you can hear was screaming in this episode. The creepy-meter was ringing as well. Mystery Theater toted itself as hosting tales from the macabre while rarely do any of its episodes evoke fear. Not so with "Give the Devil his Due." Fantastic all the way around. 5 stars. Lisener beware, this episode involves references to the devil and Satan. If that scares you avoid this episode. Also, there is a strange tick through the entire episode every 3 seconds; you barely notice it after the first, you notice it all the way through. Stick with it, this is a classic episode.

Davy Joe

One of my favorites, my husband and I look to quote passage from this show.

Sheila S.

One of my favorites, my husband and I love to quote passages from this show.

Sheila S.

Great episode. The ending was like I expected. Alexandra just turned 50 years old and was so desperate to be young again so she could dance again. Alexandra did not care what she had to sacrifice even if it meant her soul. I gave this episode five stars.

Don Heiland,Jr.

An aging former ballerina longs for the ovations she heard while in the prime of her career. She seeks medical assistance through a plastic surgeon but leaves because the doctor explains that the entire aging process cannot be reversed. She then elects to sell her soul and learns a harsh lesson in dealing with the devil.


A vain dancer decries her age and longs for the heady days of youthful beauty and fabulous success she had as a young world-renown ballerina. She wants desperately to recapture her youth and beauty going so far as to make a pact with a warlock who promises to make her young again if she is willing to pay the price and meet the conditions. Of course she jumps at the chance… Terrific twist at the end… be careful what you ask for, you might just get it!


Good audio quality on this one.


What a fun, creepy episode. I loved Alexandra. I loved the over-the-top acting befitting the prima donna that she was. Never try to trick the Prince!!!


Better than the Black Swan! The Warlock's voice is great for the scare factor and creepiness.

Scooter D

The title says it all. I sort of like these stories where people make deals with the devil and act as if they don't know it's what they're doing even if it's obvious to everyone else. Almost everyone wants something for nothing, but most know that you can't get it.


never ever ever make a deal with the devil! you always lose in the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

terence m. jones

One of my favorite episodes is called I think Give The Devel his Due. Its about this old lady who used to be a world famous Balarina. She has retired, and can't stand not being famous. She wants to be young again, and not dance again, but to be adored by all who see her dance. She goes to someone who she doesn't know is the devil and makes a deal with him that she will be young again. I don't want to spoil what happens, but it is very good.


Can anyone tell me the name of the ballet played for her audition? (Great play.)

Bill King

Oh, I got it - Giselle.

Bill King

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Entertaining? Yes. Creepy? Yes. Predictable? Hell yes. A 50-year-old former ballerina makes a deal with a warlock to get her beauty and ballet skills back, but she breaks her promise and ends up paying the price and will dance in Limbo for eternity. This story, written by Nancy Moore, would be perfect for THE TWILIGHT ZONE and/or THE NIGHT GALLERY. The title of this is good because it speaks for what the story is implying. Another way to title it would be “No Turning Back” or “Alexandra: The Unsurpassed.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts the show off by asking what happens to famous people when the fame is gone? And when does the applause becomes silent? In ACT-1, introduce our main Protagonist. After introducing the Antagonist, our Host makes a reference to John Milton’s poem PARADISE LOST. In ACT-2, quoting novelist Daniel Dafoe and playwright William Shakespeare about the Devil. In ACT-3, a lesson to be learned after the climax that would be “hellish” for the ballet dancer. In his Epilogue, quoting French poet Charles Baudelaire about the Devil convincing others that he did not exist. E.G. Marshall’s narrations and quotes from famous writers were helpful and intriguing. The sound effects in this episode needed more. A quick crowd applause, doors, glass shattering, and lighter switch are all what he heard. Classical ballet music in the 3rd Act was fancy, but no sound effects of feet dancing on the stage. But the music, with its variety of drama and sinister themes, were devilishly good. As for the cast, they were magnificent. Mercedes McCambridge (as Alexandra Scott), Joe Silver (as Azazel), Ian Martin (as John Scott), Bryna Raeburn (as Carlotta and Trina), and Peter Donald (as Dr. Stern and Peter Kerensky). Peter Donald was good, but it’s a shame that he only did 2 episodes for CBSRMT. This one and #0413-THE STOLEN WHITE ELEPHANT. Bryna Raeburn was a delight for playing the fortune teller. Ian Martin, terrific. Joe Silver’s voice was perfect to play the warlock Azazel. And let’s forget who stole the show on this one: the legendary Mercedes McCambridge. Truly, one of her best performances in CBSRMT history. Her voice, along with this creepy tale, is captivating as her performance in the horror episode like #0187-STEPHANIE’S ROOM and #0318-CARMILLA. Even though this ending was predictable, it’s still a good episode that fans of Mercedes McCambridge will enjoy. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


This one is in my top episodes. Totally enjoyed the storyline and the actors were superb! Ah vanity vanity, it can be so cruel. Alexandra, The Unsurpassed, learned the hard way, don't make a deal with the devil. The commercials and news added to the entire listen and of course E. G. Marshall was spot on with the commentary. Definitely give this one a listen!


Kinda had to figure out that Mercedes McCambridge voiced it. I wasn’t absolutely positive until she used her exorcist movie voice. Very good episode


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