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Ruthless (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 4 November 1948 (UK)
Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Writers:

Dayton Stoddart (novel), S.K. Lauren (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zachary Scott ... Horace Woodruff Vendig
Louis Hayward ... Vic Lambdin
Diana Lynn ... Martha Burnside / Mallory Flagg
Sydney Greenstreet ... Buck Mansfield
Lucille Bremer ... Christa Mansfield
Martha Vickers ... Susan Duane
Dennis Hoey ... Mr. Burnside
Edith Barrett ... Mrs. Burnside
Raymond Burr ... Pete Vendig
Joyce Arling Joyce Arling ... Kate Vendig
Charles Evans ... Bruce McDonald
Robert J. Anderson ... Horace Vendig as Child (as Bob Anderson)
Arthur Stone Arthur Stone ... Vic Lambdin as Child
Ann Carter ... Martha Burnside as Child
Edna Holland ... Libby Sims
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Storyline

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by richer neighbours he started to exhibit an obsessive and selfish urge to make more and more money, loving and leaving women at will to further this end. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

POWER...AND MOMEY WERE HIS GODS! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1948 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Prelude to Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buck Mansfield quotes twice from the Bible. The first occasion is when he is being 'pursued by his creditors' and he reads from Proverbs 31:10 -12 and 21 (...Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies....). The second instance is when he speaks to the bartender at Vendig's function and the quote is from Obadiah 1: 2-4 (...Though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down ...). See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Burnside: [to unhappy young Horace] Be brave. Be a man.
Horace Vendig as Child: I don't want to be a man. Never! I wish there weren't any men in the whole world.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Edgar G Ulmer with an A production
28 May 2009 | by mysterymoviegoerSee all my reviews

I just returned from an American Cinemateque screening of a UCLA restored print of this movie. Here is ample evidence that Ulmer, the King of the B's, given bigger budgets might well have had a much bigger career. Detour may be his most famous movie, but this is his best. The Alvah Bessie screenplay about greed and the relentless pursuit of success has dated not at all. The cinematography is excellent, with strong noirish elements. The sets and costumes are very good. Zachary Scott, one of the screen's great cads, is somewhat toned down here if still fairly nasty. There is strong work by Diana Lynn, Lucille Bremer, and Martha Vickers as women who get used and discarded along the way. Sidney Greenstreet shows up mid film as an equally greedy and grasping character, dominating all his scenes. But the standout, unexpectedly, is Louis Hayward as a sympathetic boyhood friend and link to the entire storyline. Ulmer brings out more warmth in this actor that was usually seen. Raymond Burr has a small part early in his career when he seemed to be copying Laird Cregar as Scott's father seen in flashback. Ulmer's daughter this evening explained that the studio Eagle-Lion/Paramount cut some scenes just before release with a particularly anti-capitalist tone. I hope the footage still exists somewhere. That aside, it is thoroughly accomplished film that needs no explanation or apologies. The current recession gives it renewed meaning. Hopefully a DVD release will soon follow.


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