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Beat the Devil (1953)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  17 December 1953 (Italy)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,456 users  
Reviews: 111 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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(novel) (as James Helvick) , (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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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:

The Bold Adventure That Beats Them All! 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

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. 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

Gwendolyn Chelm: You know, I've changed my mind about you being an evil doctor. You're off to keep a rendezvous someplace in Africa sacred to the tribesmen. You're going to found a new empire, and make yourself master of the riches of the world. But you need a beautiful blonde queen to impress the natives as, ah, the incarnation of the Queen of Sheba. That's why you're making a pass at me.
Billy Dannreuther: Am I?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in O Cinema Falado (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Dry Humor
12 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Most of the reviews of 1953's "Beat the Devil" regard it as a Humphrey Bogart picture. Certainly his company produced it, but it is truly a John Huston film. Huston's legendary dry wit suffuses the whole enterprise from start to finish. Essentially, a comedy of errors, Huston's script, co-authored by Truman Capote, also serves up wry social commentary on a range of subjects from social position to the industrial world's exploitation of Africa, a place near and dear to Huston's heart. Jennifer Jones' prophecy that Africa will become an ugly place with "all those holes," has long since become a reality. A brilliant cast, with Bogie playing his typical world-weary existentialist, spiral avarice and misconception into hilarity; a comic exposition of the proverb, "What a tangled web we weave . . ." Often criticized for being unrealistic, Huston's and Capote's comic script has none-to-funny real parallels in the present day debacles of Enron and WorldCom. In "Beat the Devil," greed and deceit are brilliantly juxtaposed to reveal the ultimate folly of even the most devious criminal enterprise. This is a superior black comedy that plays even better today than it did 52 years ago.


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Opening scene clive-ihd
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