6.6/10
6,126
113 user 33 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:

Writers:

(novel) (as James Helvick), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

IMDb at Comic-Con 2016

Visit our Comic-Con section to see what's trending, watch celebrity interviews, follow event coverage, browse cosplay photos, take our Fan IQ quizzes, and more.

Browse IMDb's Guide to Comic-Con

1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. ... See full summary »

Directors: John Huston, Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At a Catholic mission in China, long-awaited "Father O'Shea" proves to be a tough guy, disturbingly attractive to mission nurse Anne.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gene Tierney, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck ex-sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by shady fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable phenom from Argentina.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Glen, Hal and Sam are three escaped convicts who move in on and terrorize a suburban household.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three Devil's Island escapees hide out in the home of a kindly merchant and repay his kindness by helping him and his family out of several crises.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray
Key Largo (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall
Drama | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Five patriotic convicts are helped to escape imprisonment in Devil's Island so they can fight for occupied Free French forces against the Nazis.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Michèle Morgan
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Africa during WWI, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Matt Brennan runs into Jo Holloway, the Red Cross girl he romanced in Europe when he was a flyer in World War II, when he is offered a job by jet manufacturer Leland Willis as a test pilot.... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Eleanor Parker, Raymond Massey
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

During WWII, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan
Dark Passage (1947)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bruce Bennett
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Schach dem Teufel  »

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  »
Edit

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 reportedly 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. However this cannot be confirmed. See more »

Goofs

When Ahmed, the Arab Inquisitor first appears on screen, he is wearing a woman's mock turtleneck blouse with a mesh applique, outlined with satin ribbon and a bow. See more »

Quotes

O'Hara: Time. Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinema Falado (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Film-noir twisted into a unique and witty comedy
20 November 2001 | by (Annandale, VA) – See all my reviews

I'm surprised at the lack of positive reviews written here for this witty film-noir spoof. The movie is certainly conceived in standard noir fashion, based on a story about colonial exploitation which is ripe with opportunity for double-dealing and triple-crossing, and populated with a cast of stereotypical film-noir characters. But then something strange happens. It's as if the characters are given self-awareness. Because these would all be boring and mundane people in real life, they live out their fantasies by embracing the limited nature of their scripted alter-egos and playing them to the extreme. This is how superficial, cardboard-thin film-noir characters might behave if forced to live in the real world without a script to guide them.

The story is about several travelers who meet in port while waiting for a ship to take them to Africa. Three unlikely criminals - "the committee" - are on their way to pull off a uranium swindle. Their hired agent, Dannreuther, is the reluctant but ever capable leading man, married to a beautiful young Italian who dreams of being English. Harry Chelm is English to the point of absurdity. He is every bit the exaggerated epitome of a British aristocrat, except that he lacks the wealth and title to actually be one. His wife, a charming mythomaniac, manages to convince everyone else otherwise.

Complications arise when this group is confined to a small port and then to an even smaller ship. The three criminals scurry about like a pack of mismatched meerkats. Robert Morley is absolutely hilarious as the criminal mastermind cursed with a face and body completely incapable of hiding even the smallest emotion. Peter Lorre has some wonderful scenes playing an unflappable, philosophical German named O'Hara. Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, and Edward Underdown deliver outstanding comedic performances while Bogart effortlessly cycles through every leading character he's ever portrayed.

I don't think it will spoil the film to point out that the uranium deal is nothing but a MacGuffin. The real value of this movie is the understated comic situations and mannerisms which arise when the characters are allowed to break free from the restraints of standard film-noir style. They do so in a totally natural manner using their own self-awareness but still restricted by the limited personalities and abilities of the stereotypes they represent. The results are unique, unpredictable, and completely charming.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A classic willowtree602
'Beat' the 'Devil'? What does that mean? tomtac
Capote girlzwillbegirlz
On dvd salamanderee
Opening scene clive-ihd
Best quality DVD jbuchanan-1
Discuss Beat the Devil (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?