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Ruthless (1948)

 -  Drama | Film-Noir  -  6 May 1949 (Finland)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 613 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 18 critic

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Ruthless (1948)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zachary Scott ...
...
...
Martha Burnside / Mallory Flagg
...
Buck Mansfield
Lucille Bremer ...
Christa Mansfield
...
Susan Duane
Dennis Hoey ...
Mr. Burnside
Edith Barrett ...
Mrs. Burnside
...
Pete Vendig
Joyce Arling ...
Kate Vendig
Charles Evans ...
Bruce McDonald
Robert J. Anderson ...
Horace Vendig as Child (as Bob Anderson)
Arthur Stone ...
Ann Carter ...
Martha Burnside as Child
Edna Holland ...
Libby Sims
Edit

Storyline

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by richer neighbours he started to exhibit an obsessive and selfish urge to make more and more money, loving and leaving women at will to further this end. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Why must you destroy everyone who helps you? (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1949 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Prelude to Night  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Terra Distributors VHS copy is a truncated version, running only 86 minutes, not the complete version. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Burnside: [to unhappy young Horace] Be brave. Be a man.
Horace Vendig as Child: I don't want to be a man. Never! I wish there weren't any men in the whole world.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Let's Go to the Movies (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Totally ruthless, but with a charming smile...great stuff
18 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ruthless (1948)

A great, layered melodrama, with flashbacks and male and female rivalries and a really strong narrative thread. There are a bunch of interesting actors at work who never had huge careers, the main man being familiar to me from "Mildred Pierce" two years earlier, Zacharay Scott. The director, though, is a favorite noir director of mine, Edgar Ulmer, who had a string of great films in the late 1940s. So this is one of them, though not quite a noir.

In fact, this is a kind of financiers movie, which isn't actually a genre thank God. But the weakest part of the film (at least for a non-Wall Street viewer) is a lot of talk about business deals. Luckily, you don't need to follow them to the letter, because it's the characters--their tricks, their greed, their games--who make it come alive. And of course there are women involved (compelling ones like Diana Lynn), and memories of a childhood girlfriend, so we feel something for the good friend of the leading capitalist male, and even for Sydney Greenstreet, who plays an aging businessman, even amusing.

The whole enterprise gets fairly involved and makes you pay attention, which is good, and leads to a pretty spectacular last scene off the pier.


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