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Shout at the Devil
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Shout at the Devil More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A real ripping yarn

Author: johnson50 from March (or Die), ENGLAND
30 November 2003

As a World War One naval buff, I enjoy this film on one level. As a film enthusiast, I enjoy it on another, all the more so for it being based on fact.

The actual story of the Koenigsberg is actually far less glamorous than the fate of the Blucher in this film but no less enthralling. After the ship was destroyed, her crew joined the German land forces under Count Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and, together with their few thousand fiercely loyal African troops, fought 1 million British soldiers to a standstill for 4 years until, after the Armistice, they surrendered to the Portuguese, undefeated and proud. A tale well worth reading, far better than the fiction.

Back to the film. The central character is one Flynn O'Flynn, a thoroughly disreputable character, played by Lee Marvin. Always good value for money, he merely reprises Ben Rumson in Africa - no effort required! Roger Moore, aged 49, plays the 'young' interest! Mind you, he don't look bad for it! He is married to the delectable Barbara Parkins, Flynn's daughter Rosa, really the only female character in the film, a grim role she carries off to perfection. Fleischer, the evil German, the exact opposite of von Lettow-Vorbeck, is brilliantly overplayed by Rene Kolldehoff - he really is unlikeable! Also look out for Ian Holm as the mute Arab servant Mohammed.

The film has great pace, really rolling along, well shot in wonderful scenery. It has been well researched too. The Blucher, an actual German cruiser, has been pretty accurately recreated. The whole film has a very genuine feel.

I can see why it's not popular with female viewers. It's quite bloody, very cruel and Barbara Parkins character has a dreadful time of it. The scene in which the farm is burned is quite harrowing.

There are plenty of laughs too. Flynn O'Flynn has all of Ben Rumson's comic characteristics. The big fight between Marvin and Moore is very funny. And then there's Roger Moore blacked up as an African porter - he's about as convincing as I would be - and I'm blond!

If you're a fan of Ripping Yarns, then this one is for you. If not, then I wouldn't bother.

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27 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Shamefully treated classic

Author: adam jezard from ascot, england
3 June 2000

This is a splendid action/adventure of a type they just don't make any more, with excellent performances from Marvin and Moore that move from the comic to the dramatic. With rolling African scenery and a thunderous music score, not to mention Barbara Parkins as the love interest, and stunning direction by Peter (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) Hunt, this deserves to be much better known. Unfortunately it was lambasted by ignorant and ridiculous critics on both sides of the Atlantic upon its initial release, so it was re-edited and much of the more moving aspects of the film were cut out. As it stands, the video release and television versions in the UK show only about 2/3ds of the finished film. A few years ago a company called WideAppeal released a widescreen version on video, but this was some European print that contained much that had been cut from the US/UK version, but missed out instead much that the US/UK version had originally contained (much of it was also in German and undubbed or subtitled as I recall). WideAppeal must still be highly praised for releasing it on video. The British Film Institute had, when I inquired a few years ago, all of the original footage but had not got around to working on restoring the print to its original glory. I count myself lucky to have seen the original release print and feel annoyed and betrayed by the critics who savaged the film on its initial release (and the studio which reacted so swiftly to their meagre complaints) -- may you hang your heads in shame! I now only hope the BFI does its work swiftly so we can be presented with a version of the full film in all its glory.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A very good old fashioned adventure movie.

Author: k-thomas from Netherlands
19 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first saw this movie, when it was first released in 1976 and must say, it hasn't lost its momentum. Fine performances from all the actors and the only actress in the film Barbra Parkins.

When i was a child, i read a story in the victor comic of the destruction of a battleship in the first world war like the Blucher and if i remember correctly, it was never discovered who actually blew the ship up. As stated in another comment, it is a pity that you cannot get an original full version of this film. The version i have is from the BBC. Also in a couple of comments, it has been stated that it was a pity a baby was murdered. I would like to make a point, that it was in the book by Wilbur Smith, Rosa and Smiths child being thrown into a fire and this is the beginning of the story of their fight with the character Fleischer, brilliantly portrayed by Reinhard Kolldehoff. It is a pity films like 'Shout At The Devil' are not being made today, as there are still books of adventure stories in the shops there for the taking. A must for people who still like a good old fashioned yarn with a beginning a middle and an end.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Based on a true story

Author: Brewski-2 from Sarasota, Florida
21 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There really was a German cruiser in WW I (SMS Koenigsberg) that went up the Rufiji River for repairs and was sunk by the British by using mortars on "monitor" type boats. Also, there was a German officer (Colonel Von Lettow-Vorbeck: read "Guerilla" by Edwin P. Hoyt) that took the cannons off of the ship and had them manhandled around the African countryside to defeat the British. Please note that Von Lettow was a gentleman and excellent officer at guerilla warfare and NOT the stealing, avaricious fat baby killer depicted by Fleisher.

That being said, this film concerns British colonists (good, farming types that use thier black conscript soldiers to defend) and German colonists (bad, tax collecting types that use their black conscript soldiers to attack). Lee Marvin is the crusty but loveable curmudgeon, Roger Moore is the con man with a heart of gold and Barbara Parkins is the farmer's daughter and, hands down, a dish in her day.

***SPOILERS*** All is well until the German officer finds out that Marvin & Moore are poaching his tax targets and he revenges by burning down Marvin's house and killing the infant of Moore and Parkins. Now all bets are off and lightheartedness ends. Now the German officer, his friends, his coworkers, his countrymen, his soldiers, the people who owe him money and everyone that looks like him must die. So ultimate revenge is had and in a fitting poetic justice, Mom of infant Parkins, extracts the final measure of justice from the German officer.

Another reviewer wanted to know why the title was "Shout at the Devil". The reason is that when men do evil, thier destiny is Hell, where all they can do thereafter is "shout at the devil".

9 of 10 stars

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A good film set in a little known theatre of the First World War

Author: de_niro_2001 from scotland
22 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If C S Forester had not written The African Queen the fact that Germany once had a colonial empire would be totally unknown. This little known theatre of WW1 has been the background to The African Queen and this film as well as an episode of Young Indiana Jones. Contrary to what some commentators have said Fleischer is not meant to be based on Lettow-Vorbeck. He holds a different position, namely that of commissioner for the southern district. Lettow-Vorbeck was commander of the Schutztruppe. It is a cracking good yarn but like many people who have seen it I don't like the part where the baby gets killed. The special effects are some of the best pre-CGI effects I have seen.The editing of the film leaves a bit to be desired.Lee Marvin basically reprises Ben Rumson and Roger Moore plays James Bond as an Edwardian adventurer. As I said the special effects are good for their time but when the battleship blows up the hull remains in the same position. It doesn't sink or even list. Also, if there was a bomb right in the ship's magazine the explosion would be a lot bigger and Rosa and Sebastian would not have much chance of survival being just across on the opposite bank. But still a very good film.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The African Road Runner

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
10 April 2007

Shout at the Devil finds Lee Marvin in sub Sahara Africa in 1914 just before the start of World War I. He's a rollicking, live by your wits character named Flynn, very much similar to Humphrey Bogart's Charlie Allnut in The African Queen. Marvin takes up with an Englishman played by Roger Moore who's been stranded in Africa on his way to Australia.

Marvin has a running rivalry with the local German governor played with Teutonic relish by Reinhard Kolldehoff. He's the Road Runner to Kolldehoff's Wily Coyote. During the first half of the film, it plays just like a road runner cartoon.

When war is declared however, Kolldehoff crosses into British territory where Marvin has operated with sanctuary and exacts a terrible vengeance for being constantly made a fool of. On Marvin, on Moore, and on Barbara Parkins, Marvin's daughter who Moore has now married and had a child with.

This is World War I so the Germans aren't behaving like the Nazis of the second World War. But Kolldehoff you can see a potential recruit for Hitler in the post war years. In fact I don't think it's an accident that Kolldehoff and his character Fleischer look very much like German Field Marshal Ludendorff who was sympathetic to the early Nazi party.

Shout at the Devil is a broad comic adventure for the first half and turns serious in the second half. Moore and Marvin have a nice easy chemistry between them, Marvin is reaching back to his Cat Ballou days and the bag of scene stealing tricks he used to get an Oscar. Moore is hard pressed, but does keep up.

And who doesn't like a live road runner cartoon.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A rollicking great action yarn (that was true!)

Author: lastliberal from United States
8 March 2008

The first thing you notice about this film is the racist MPAA. Despite it being rated PG for war violence, there was nudity. Breasts were exposed, but they weren't those of Barbara Parkins ("Peyton Place", Valley of the Dolls, and her skintastic moment in Breakfast in Paris), but of African natives. Seems that black breasts are not taboo for children to see.

But, to the film itself. It is actually two films. The first half in 1912, has Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Paint Your Wagon) as a drunken ivory poacher who manages to get Roger Moore (The Spy Who Loved Me, "The Saint") to partner up with him. After Moore and Parkins (Marvin's daughter) plan to marry, there is a great fight scene reminiscent of many John Wayne pictures.

Then the film changes. World War I is declared and the Germans are on the march led by Reinhard Kolldehoff (Moon Over Parador, "The Winds of War"), a big fat German pig whose men slaughter Moore and Parkins baby, and set them on a search for revenge.

The film has plenty of action, including what I would call a paper mache bi-plane which almost takes Moore's life, and culminates in the blowing up of a German battleship that had run over Moore and Marvin earlier.

Marvin was extremely funny and Moore looked just great painted black to get on the ship. Parkins was radiant throughout, even when consumed with revenge for the murder of her baby.

Sir Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire) was also fantastic as Marvin's mute servant.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Ever wonder how Lee Marvin would have done as the lead in "The African Queen"?

Author: vfrickey from Earth
19 May 2008

Then watch "Shout at the Devil." There are other reasons, all good ones.

Shot in 1976, thus with better quality film and presentation, "Shout at the Devil" isn't a remake of "African Queen".

It has more of everything you want in a frontier war adventure; - more romance (between a British adventurer played by Roger Moore and the daughter of Lee Marvin's seamy ivory poacher, given complex, sympathetic life by Barbara Parkins) and - more explosions and pitched battles; more heart-wrenching tragedy and suspense;

Only the finely balanced banter between Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart which made their earlier film still stand out as the definite classic compared with this later effort is missing.

But it's still a very, very good film and rewards its viewer well.

In this film, the work Humphrey Bogart did as both comic and romantic lead is split between Lee Marvin as the nearly completely unprincipled Col. Flynn O'Flynn (a self-commissioned Irish-American ivory poacher) and Roger Moore, as unfortunate British gentleman Sebastian Oldsmith.

Oldsmith is Shanghaied by O'Flynn and his equally unscrupulous batman Mohammed into being everything from being a poorly paid "partner" to an aerial observer in a rickety 1914-model aircraft to reconnoiter over enemy territory, to finally become the central character in the movie's spine-tingling denouement.

This film has everything for fans of high adventure - suspense, tragedy, moments of wild comedy, and characterizations that go beyond the standard formula fare.

"Shout at the Devil" is better than average for a Lee Marvin feature; maybe not up to "Tell it to the Spartans" or "Cat Ballou," but definitely a worthy addition to an adventure movie fan's collection.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Another Lee Marvin Masterpiece

Author: Nicholas Christakes ( from Park Forest, IL
20 April 2001

This guy seems to have been the most under-rated star in the Biz. His dry sense of humor combined with a subtle charisma made Lee Marvin one of the most likeable stars of the war movie genre. Here he played an older soldier, past his prime, that coaxes the younger Roger Moore into doing life-endangering things against the Germans. This is done with much humor, as Moore is in love with Marvin's daughter, and feels compelled out of family honor to do whatever he can. The action is really excellent, and the love story is touching. A must see for any war movie fan, and/or Moore fan. Marvin, himself, delivers another Marvin like performance, and reminds viewers of his earlier days from the film "The Dirty Dozen".

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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:


Author: xredgarnetx from Connecticut
6 April 2008

In SHOUT AT THE DEVIL, Roger Moore and Lee Marvin are a pair of misfits living in Africa just before World War 1. Moore is an elephant poacher and Marvin is a drunk living with his adult daughter (Barbara Parkins) in what is now Tanzania. Marvin and Moore fight over any little thing, not the least of which is the delectable daughter. But then they must work together to defeat the Germans at the onset of World War I. Seems the Germans have a battleship anchored in the cove, for repairs. At the behest of the British government, Marvin and Moore seek to destroy the ship before it can relaunch. Because of its age and director (Britisher Peter Hunt), the film looks creaky as all hell today. The fights are clumsily staged. The sincerity of the plot is questionable. Only Parkins seems to feel she is acting in a drama. Moore and Marvin play their parts very broadly. Even with bodies dropping like flies and both Moore and Marvin periodically being injured, you're not so sure this isn't a comedy. Is it worth a look? Not really.

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