IMDb > Beat the Devil (1953)
Beat the Devil
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Beat the Devil (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Beat the Devil -- 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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Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Claud Cockburn (based on the novel "Beat the Devil" by)
Truman Capote (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
17 December 1953 (Italy) See more »
The film that was ten years ahead of its time is ten years old...(it's time!) (1962 reissue ad). See more »
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... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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(53 articles)
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User Reviews:
Very good off beat comedy, beware of bad prints. See more (115 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Humphrey Bogart ... Billy Dannreuther

Jennifer Jones ... Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm

Gina Lollobrigida ... Maria Dannreuther

Robert Morley ... Peterson

Peter Lorre ... Julius O'Hara
Edward Underdown ... Harry Chelm
Ivor Barnard ... Maj. Jack Ross
Marco Tulli ... Ravello

Bernard Lee ... Insp. Jack Clayton
Mario Perrone ... Purser on SS Nyanga
Giulio Donnini ... Administrator

Saro Urzì ... Captain of SS Nyanga (as Saro Urzi)

Juan de Landa ... Hispano-Suiza Driver (as Juan De Landa)
Aldo Silvani ... Charles - Restaurant Manager
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dave Crowley ... (uncredited)
Julie Gibson ... (uncredited)
Alex Pochet ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Mimmo Poli ... Barman (uncredited)

Peter Sellers ... Billy Dannreuther (voice) (uncredited)
Manuel Serano ... Ahmed - Arab Inquisitor (uncredited)

Directed by
John Huston 
Writing credits
Claud Cockburn (based on the novel "Beat the Devil" by) (as James Helvick)

Truman Capote (screenplay) and
John Huston (screenplay)

Anthony Veiller  screenplay collaboration (uncredited)
Peter Viertel  screenplay collaboration (uncredited)

Produced by
Jack Clayton .... associate producer
John Huston .... producer
Humphrey Bogart .... producer (uncredited)
Angelo Rizzoli .... producer (uncredited)
John Woolf .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Franco Mannino 
Cinematography by
Oswald Morris (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ralph Kemplen 
Art Direction by
Wilfred Shingleton 
Makeup Department
Betty Lee .... hairdresser (as Bette Lee)
Connie Reeve .... makeup artist (as Constance Reeve)
Production Management
Bill Kirby .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Arnold .... assistant director
Erica Masters .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Robert Sterne .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
John Hoesli .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Harry White .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Alan Withy .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stan Hawkes .... dubbing editor (as Stanley Hawkes)
E. Law .... sound recordist
George Stephenson .... sound recordist
Barbara Hopkins .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Bob Jones .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Kevin McClory .... boom operator (uncredited)
Peter Myers .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Ernest Webb .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Ivor Worsley .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Reg Johnson .... travelling mattes (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Bryan Langley .... special processes (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Freddie Francis .... camera operator
Louis H. Lavelly .... chief production electrician
Robert Capa .... still photographer (uncredited)
James Devis .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Eric Gray .... still photographer (uncredited)
Dennis C. Lewiston .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Stephen Sondheim .... clapper boy (uncredited)
Gerry Turpin .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Philip Auguste .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Roy Hyde .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Location Management
James H. Ware .... location manager (as James Ware)
Music Department
Lambert Williamson .... musical director
Other crew
Angela Allen .... continuity
Jeanie Sims .... personal assistant to John Huston
Beryl Booth .... production secretary (uncredited)
Harriet Medin .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:S | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:14 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1998) (1999) (2001) (2003) (2005) | USA:Approved (Certificate No. 16817) | West Germany:6

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 »
Continuity: When the boat arrives at shore and the group come out of the sea, Billy walks after Peterson and stops just behind him. In the next shot, shown from the front, Billy appears on the left side of Peterson.See more »
Gwendolyn Chelm:I have a theory about you and your friends.
Billy Dannreuther:Correction - my associates.
Gwendolyn Chelm:As a matter of fact, I think you're doctors. Evil ones, I mean. You're going to the heart of the jungle where human life is cheap, to perform ghastly experiments which require the sacrifice of thousands on the altar of science.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in World by Night (1960)See more »


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36 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
Very good off beat comedy, beware of bad prints., 27 August 2004
Author: Stephen Alfieri ( from Blauvelt, NY

"Beat The Devil" is one of Bogart's more unusual films. Scripted by none other than Truman Capote and John Huston, it is a very entertaining, offbeat noir satire (quite a description). Upon first viewing a lot of the humor may get lost, but view it a second time, and you can not help but laugh out loud at many of the jokes.

The cast is absolutely top notch. Bogart is perfect as Billy Dannreuther, a man who has a friend that will line him and his associates up with some land in Africa that is rich with uranium. It's always nice to see Bogie prove that he had a great sense of humor, and didn't mind poking fun at himself. Jennifer Jones, who, for some reason, always reminded me of Vivien Leigh (in "Streetcar")in this picture is terrific as Mrs. Chelm. But it is Robert Morley who steals the picture for me. Sometimes menacing, sometimes charming, he is a delight to watch.

Huston and Capote have done a great job of blending the different genres without letting them get all caught up in each other. I do wish that the final scene was written a little better, but the movie is still a lot of fun.

Caution - because the film was allowed to enter the public domain, there are a lot of really lousy prints out on the market, even on DVD. If you want this film for your own collection, do yourself a favor and spend a couple of extra dollars and buy a good print.

7 out of 10

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