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Beat the Devil (1953)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,207 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 28 critic

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...

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Title: Beat the Devil (1953)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Edward Underdown ...
Ivor Barnard ...
Marco Tulli ...
...
Insp. Jack Clayton
Mario Perrone ...
Purser on SS Nyanga
Giulio Donnini ...
Administrator
...
Captain of SS Nyanga (as Saro Urzi)
Juan de Landa ...
Hispano-Suiza Driver
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:

They're Out To Beat the Devil At His Own Game! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

La burla del diablo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart was involved in a serious automobile accident during production of this film, which knocked out several of his teeth and hindered his ability to speak. John Huston hired a young British actor noted for his mimicry skills to rerecord some of Bogart's spoken lines during post-production looping. Although it is undetectable when viewing the film today, it is Peter Sellers who provides Bogart's voice during some of the scenes in this movie. See more »

Goofs

Inside the car, Billy has a long lit cigarette in his right hand, but soon after, when he steps down, the cigarette has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Ahmed: Your demands are very great, under the circumstances.
Billy Dannreuther: Why shouldn't they be? Fat Gut's my best friend, and I will not betray him cheaply.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Humphrey Bogart: Behind the Legend (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

A Spoof That Works After a Half Century
7 February 2002 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

Hadn't seen this film in a long time and I'm glad to have caught it again. It's at the apex of black-and-white barely tongue-in-cheek comedies with a stellar cast that had a blast making the film.

Jennifer Jones, beautiful as always, seems barely able to stay inside her role, laughter threatening to break out at any moment. Humphrey Bogart has a recurrent quizzical "Am I really doing this?" expression.

Tied in with a gang of bumbling crooks seeking a fortune in uranium in Africa, illicitly of course, Bogart, married to a cute Gina Lollabrigida, falls in love with a faux English gentleman's wife as fast as his spouse goes for the supposed representative of the landed gentry. Of course cuddling and sweet words substitute for sex.

Robert Morley, always funny, is the putative leader of a gang that can't get their act together with Peter Lorre shedding his customary menacing stare for a busman's holiday as a gangster with a sense of humor.

The action ranges from beautiful Italy to a placid sea voyage aboard a rickety tub commanded by a rum-soaked moron whose Italian expletives are not understandable but who cares? The main characters, shipwrecked, wind up on an African shore where they're greeted by what today are embarrassingly stereotyped Arabs (I cringed at one of the European's comic invocation of Islam but then the movie has to be taken on its own terms and time, right?).

The resolution is lame - the characters all look ready to leave the set and get drunk before undertaking a new film. But this is one of the best spoofs of the noir genre and what makes it fly is the ensemble of first-rate actors in roles neatly the opposite of those they were usually seen performing.

Rent it! (Please)


36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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On dvd salamanderee
Capote girlzwillbegirlz
A classic willowtree602
'Beat' the 'Devil'? What does that mean? tomtac
Opening scene clive-ihd
Trivia goof; this was the 4th, not the 3rd with Lorre fbm72751
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