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Ruthless (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 November 1948 (UK)
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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Susan Duane
...
Mr. Burnside
...
...
Pete Vendig
Joyce Arling ...
Kate Vendig
Charles Evans ...
Bruce McDonald
...
Horace Vendig as Child (as Bob Anderson)
Arthur Stone ...
Vic Lambdin as Child
Ann Carter ...
Martha Burnside as Child
...
Libby Sims
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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:

4 November 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Prelude to Night  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buck Mansfield quotes twice from the Bible. The first occasion is when he is being 'pursued by his creditors' and he reads from Proverbs 31:10 -12 and 21 (...Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies....). The second instance is when he speaks to the bartender at Vendig's function and the quote is from Obadiah 1: 2-4 (...Though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down ...). 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Merciless and Selfish Ambition
28 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

While in a philanthropic meeting promoted by the millionaire Horace Woodruff Vendig (Zachary Scott), the guest Vic Lambdin (Louis Hayward) tells the history of the beginning and end of his friendship with the host to his date Mallory Flagg (Diana Lynn). When they are boys, Horace is a poor boy from a dysfunctional family and Vic's best friend that saves the wealthy girl Martha Burnside from drowning in a river. Horace is adopted by the rich Burnside family and later sent to Havard and gets engaged to Martha, for whom Vic has a crush. When the ambitious Horace meets the wealthier Susan Duane (Martha Vickers) that belongs to a more influent family, he calls off his engagement with Martha and moves to New York with Susan continuing his social raise. Later he meets the shark Buck Mansfield (Sydney Greenstreet) and seduces his young wife Christa (Lucille Bremer) to profit in business, leading to tragic consequences.

I was zapping the cable TV this raining Sunday morning in Rio and I found this rare film-noir by chance, which has never been released on VHS or DVD in Brazil. Edgar G. Ulmer made a magnificent movie with a timeless plot of merciless ambition of a poor and selfish boy that wishes to climb financially and socially using and disposing wealthy women and friendships. The screenplay uses flashback to perfectly develop the lead character and his acquaintances, supported by awesome black and white cinematography and camera work. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Insaciável" ("Ruthless")


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