6.9/10
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30 user 30 critic

Ruthless (1948)

A poor boy who saved a rich girl from drowning is adopted by her family but he grows into a money-hungry ruthless businessman who would step on others to get to the top of the social ladder.

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
Edith Barrett ... Mrs. Burnside
Dennis Hoey ... Mr. Burnside
Raymond Burr ... Pete Vendig
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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lovely! (Diana Lynn) Reckless! (Lucille Bremer) Loyal! (Louis Hayward) Power-Mad! (Zachary Scott) Vicious! (Sydney Greenstreet) Innocent! (Martha Vickers) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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

[first lines]
Vic Lambdin: It's been a long time - a long time. But it doesn't seem long enough for all the things I can remember.
Mallory Flagg: From what you've told me, this man gives one a lot of things to remember him by.
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Connections

Referenced in Let's Go to the Movies (1949) See more »

User Reviews

A+ Drama. What a treat, if you can find it.
30 November 2000 | by SanDiegoSee all my reviews

Excellent drama about a poor boy who is adopted by a rich family after saving their daughter from drowning. Given all the benefits of wealth and society, he uses the people who care about him and give him his breaks, especially the women he meets. Zachery Scott is chilling in his mentally perverse portrayal of a tycoon that is more in league with Norman Bates than William Randall Hurst. Diana Lynn (the Sandra Bullock of her day) is wonderful as the woman he had saved as a girl and who's heart he would break in his rise to success. There is a twist in the plot mid-way that will be a treat to Lynn fans, though I would have liked to seen more of her in the second half. The entire cast is compelling and the soundtrack is appropriately eerie. Very rare to find this on VHS or TV, so if you find it anywhere, get it, rent it, buy it, tape it, watch it.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1948 (Mexico) 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
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