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The Right Hand of the Devil (1963)

A sleazy but ingenious criminal masterminds a heist at a sold-out sports arena. He hires a motley crew of henchmen, seduces the middle-aged head cashier, and plans some brutal ruses to elude the law. But he's his own worst enemy.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Aram Katcher ...
Pepe Lusara
Lisa McDonald ...
Miss Sutherland
Brad Trumbull ...
Williams
James V. Christy ...
Sammy
Chris Randall ...
Spooky
Monte Lee ...
Carter
Luigi Gardneri ...
Dino's Bartender
Georgia Holden ...
The Dancer
Jack Elton ...
Dino's Pianist
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Storyline

A sleazy but ingenious criminal masterminds a heist at a sold-out sports arena. He hires a motley crew of henchmen, seduces the middle-aged head cashier, and plans some brutal ruses to elude the law. But he's his own worst enemy.

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The Most Satanic Plot Since 'Diabolique'! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To dexi heri tou Diavolou  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Aram Katcher runs the perfect heist
29 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Right Hand of the Devil" (1963) is a noir. It focuses solely on criminals and a criminal endeavor, any cops being strictly peripheral. A heist and its aftermath form the plot, familiar but always workable and offering creative opportunities. It takes its time to show the psychology of the gang assembled by the master robber and murderer played by Aram Katcher, who also produced, wrote and directed the film.

It is photographed like and has a feeling like other noirs of its 60s period.

Critics haven't yet honed in on 60s noirs to specify what characteristics they share, but they will. Without specifying the details, we can say that we know one when we see one. A list of such films may help identify what I'm talking about. Here are a few: Psycho (1960), The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960), The Hypnotic Eye (1960), The Pusher (1960), Blast of Silence (1961), Homicidal (1961), Night Tide (1961), Payroll (1961), The Naked Edge (1961), Three Blondes in His Life (1961), Underworld U.S.A. (1961), Cape Fear (1962), Satan in High Heels (1962), Stark Fear (1962). The Couch (1962), Cairo (1963), Johnny Cool (1963), Maniac (1963), Paranoiac (1963), Shock Corridor (1963) and Night Train to Milan (1965).

As compared with earlier noirs, these noirs, apart from a few higher budget ones I included, tend to be more edgy, wilder, looser, more jumpy, more jagged, more crude, more apt to take the camera into the streets, less polished, and more openly taking violence for granted without moralizing. They are lower budget but not as set bound as the b-noirs of earlier years. They focus more on "crazier" states of mind and personality. They are apt to be bolder at times in using symbols and offbeat photography and music.

But generalizations are notoriously difficult, and one finds very few common features to all noirs of the 60s. Rather they fall into clusters and sub-groups.

The plot of "The Right Hand of the Devil" reminds one of Kubrick's "The Killing"; but the story is told with much less polish and finesse. Katcher goes directly to the point, matter-of-factly, but he maintains excellent suspense and surprise through most of it. It's only an hour or so, and it's low-budget. But he uses his resources well to explore a treacherous man.


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