6.6/10
7,175
120 user 44 critic

Beat the Devil (1953)

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...

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Claud Cockburn (based on the novel "Beat the Devil" by) (as James Helvick), Truman Capote (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

With his newspaper about to be sold, crusading editor Ed Hutcheson tries to complete an exposé on gangster Rienzi.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Maria Vargas' funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Key Largo (1948)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man visits his war buddy's family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An attorney defends a hoodlum of murder, using the oppressiveness of the slums to appeal to the court.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready
Sirocco (1951)
Action | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A cynical American expatriate gets involved in smuggling and gun-running for the rebels during the 1925 Syrian insurgency against French occupation.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lee J. Cobb, Märta Torén
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck ex-sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by shady fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable phenom from Argentina.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At a Catholic mission in China, long-awaited "Father O'Shea" proves to be a tough guy, disturbingly attractive to mission nurse Anne.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gene Tierney, Lee J. Cobb
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three escaped convicts move in on and terrorize a suburban household.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy
Tokyo Joe (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American returns to Tokyo try to pick up threads of his pre-WW2 life there, but finds himself squeezed between criminals and the authorities.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Alexander Knox, Florence Marly
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In December 1941, ex-army captain Rick Leland boards a Japanese ship heading to Asia via the Panama Canal where his Japanese hosts show interest in the American defense plans for the canal zone.

Directors: John Huston, Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Five patriotic convicts are helped to escape imprisonment in Devil's Island so they can fight for occupied Free French forces against the Nazis.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Michèle Morgan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Billy Dannreuther
Jennifer Jones ... Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm
Gina Lollobrigida ... Maria Dannreuther
Robert Morley ... Peterson
Peter Lorre ... Julius O'Hara
Edward Underdown Edward Underdown ... Harry Chelm
Ivor Barnard ... Maj. Jack Ross
Marco Tulli Marco Tulli ... Ravello
Bernard Lee ... Insp. Jack Clayton
Mario Perrone Mario Perrone ... Purser on SS Nyanga
Giulio Donnini Giulio Donnini ... Administrator
Saro Urzì ... Captain of SS Nyanga (as Saro Urzi)
Juan de Landa ... Hispano-Suiza Driver (as Juan De Landa)
Aldo Silvani Aldo Silvani ... Charles - Restaurant Manager
Edit

Storyline

A quartet of international crooks -- Peterson, O'Hara, Ross and Ravello -- is stranded in Italy while their steamer is being repaired. With them are the Dannreuthers. The six are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but actually to buy land supposedly loaded with uranium. They are joined by others who apparently have similar designs. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Bold Adventure That Beats Them All! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Schach dem Teufel See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point in the film, Ivor Barnard's character is referred as the "galloping major". This is the title of a film from 1951, also made by Romulus Productions, and starring Basil Radford. The Galloping Major (1951) in this other film is a racehorse. See more »

Goofs

In Harry and Gwendolyn's first dialog scene on the street, the shadow of a boom microphone can be seen on the wall behind them. See more »

Quotes

Billy Dannreuther: Who do they think I am, their hired man?
Maria Dannreuther: But you are, you know. You ARE their hired man.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original American release version was truncated and had scenes moved around, making a mess of the story line. The uncut version--released overseas by Romulus--was finally restored in the U.S. by Sony in 2016. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Trip to Italy (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Spoof That Works After a Half Century
7 February 2002 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

Hadn't seen this film in a long time and I'm glad to have caught it again. It's at the apex of black-and-white barely tongue-in-cheek comedies with a stellar cast that had a blast making the film.

Jennifer Jones, beautiful as always, seems barely able to stay inside her role, laughter threatening to break out at any moment. Humphrey Bogart has a recurrent quizzical "Am I really doing this?" expression.

Tied in with a gang of bumbling crooks seeking a fortune in uranium in Africa, illicitly of course, Bogart, married to a cute Gina Lollabrigida, falls in love with a faux English gentleman's wife as fast as his spouse goes for the supposed representative of the landed gentry. Of course cuddling and sweet words substitute for sex.

Robert Morley, always funny, is the putative leader of a gang that can't get their act together with Peter Lorre shedding his customary menacing stare for a busman's holiday as a gangster with a sense of humor.

The action ranges from beautiful Italy to a placid sea voyage aboard a rickety tub commanded by a rum-soaked moron whose Italian expletives are not understandable but who cares? The main characters, shipwrecked, wind up on an African shore where they're greeted by what today are embarrassingly stereotyped Arabs (I cringed at one of the European's comic invocation of Islam but then the movie has to be taken on its own terms and time, right?).

The resolution is lame - the characters all look ready to leave the set and get drunk before undertaking a new film. But this is one of the best spoofs of the noir genre and what makes it fly is the ensemble of first-rate actors in roles neatly the opposite of those they were usually seen performing.

Rent it! (Please)


52 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 120 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed