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Beat the Devil (1953)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  17 December 1953 (Italy)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,850 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 29 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...



(novel) (as James Helvick) , (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Edward Underdown ...
Ivor Barnard ...
Marco Tulli ...
Insp. Jack Clayton
Mario Perrone ...
Purser on SS Nyanga
Giulio Donnini ...
Captain of SS Nyanga (as Saro Urzi)
Juan de Landa ...
Hispano-Suiza Driver
Aldo Silvani ...
Charles - Restaurant Manager


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

17 December 1953 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

La burla del diablo  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Ahmed: [to Dannreuther] I believe you must have Arab blood. Westerners are not usually so subtle.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Shoddy production
4 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've tried, and tried, and tried, and have now given up trying to figure out the appeal "Beat the Devil" has to a certain clique of film fans. There's no denying its surface appeal. Bogie, Huston, Capote, Lorre, Jones, et al, but I'd have to agree with Bogart who called it a "dog." It's not exciting, it's not funny, and it's not appealing to the eye. The shoddy production values (at least for a film with a cast, director, and writer of such high calibre) were apparent to many critics of the time, so the video and DVD releases probably look no worse than the film did in 1953. The fact that the copyright holders (Bogart's company co-produced) let this fall into the public domain may be a clue to what they thought of it.

36 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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