6.6/10
7,083
120 user 44 critic

Beat the Devil (1953)

On their way to Africa are a group of rogues who hope to get rich there, and a seemingly innocent British couple. They meet and things happen...

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Claud Cockburn (based on the novel "Beat the Devil" by) (as James Helvick), Truman Capote (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Billy Dannreuther
Jennifer Jones ... Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm
Gina Lollobrigida ... Maria Dannreuther
Robert Morley ... Peterson
Peter Lorre ... Julius O'Hara
Edward Underdown Edward Underdown ... Harry Chelm
Ivor Barnard ... Maj. Jack Ross
Marco Tulli Marco Tulli ... Ravello
Bernard Lee ... Insp. Jack Clayton
Mario Perrone Mario Perrone ... Purser on SS Nyanga
Giulio Donnini Giulio Donnini ... Administrator
Saro Urzì ... Captain of SS Nyanga (as Saro Urzi)
Juan de Landa ... Hispano-Suiza Driver (as Juan De Landa)
Aldo Silvani Aldo Silvani ... Charles - Restaurant Manager
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Storyline

A quartet of international crooks -- Peterson, O'Hara, Ross and Ravello -- is stranded in Italy while their steamer is being repaired. With them are the Dannreuthers. The six are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but actually to buy land supposedly loaded with uranium. They are joined by others who apparently have similar designs. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Bold Adventure That Beats Them All! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Schach dem Teufel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

When we see the newspaper article about Vanmeer's murder, early in the film, only the first paragraph belongs to the story; what we can see of the second and third paragraphs is about a need for new school buildings. See more »

Quotes

Gwendolyn Chelm: I am a British subject!
Billy Dannreuther: I wouldn't say that too loud.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in O Cinema Falado (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bogart himself called it a "mess."
23 April 2005 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The plot, if you can call it that, concerned a group of six stranded adventurers in an Italian port whose plan is to buy up some East African land that supposed1y contains uranium… Double-crossing quickly becomes the name of the game as Bogart and his fellow conspirators (including Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, Gina Lollobrigida, and a seemingly endless parade of bizarre characters) outdo each other in inspired crazy way…

Bogart, trying desperately to maintain his composure, delivered such priceless lines as: 'I'm only in on this because the doctor told me I needed plenty of money. Without money I become dull, listless, and have trouble with my complexion." But his lines weren't the only offbeat ones… In a room where he's being questioned after being captured, while a firing squad goes about its routine work outside, he is asked straight-faced, "Now tell me, do you really know Rita Hayworth?"

The film is one of those rare items that viewers either seem to love or hate, no middle ground accepted… and declared that only the "phonies" thought it was really funny… Many reviewers thought the whole thing was a tasteless joke and decried the waste of time, talent, and money…

In any case, Bogart gave an immensely satisfying performance in his tongue-in-cheek role and the film itself has now become a regular attraction in Bogart film retrospectives… It is also an excellent example of how much Bogart had matured as an actor, since it is not easy to overcome apparently inept material and still give a performance with some meaning and substance…


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