6.5/10
7,688
126 user 51 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
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 7/10 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
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
Key Largo (1948)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
The Enforcer (1951)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A crusading district attorney finally gets a chance to prosecute the organizer and boss of Murder Inc.

Directors: Bretaigne Windust, Raoul Walsh
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Zero Mostel, Ted de Corsia
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
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An ex-sportswriter is hired by a shady fight promoter to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable rising star from Argentina.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling
High Sierra (1941)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1930's Cuba, a bank clerk and an American mercenary assist a revolutionary group in a plan to kill the President but the Cuban Secret Police chief and the dictator's military complicate the plan's execution.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jennifer Jones, John Garfield, Pedro Armendáriz
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
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In WWI Africa, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky
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) are stranded in Italy whilst their steamer is being repaired. With them are the an English couple, the Dannreuthers. The 6 are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but all is not as it seems. 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:

Beat the Devil 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:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart's character says "I'll 60 before you get to the point." Bogart would die 4 years later at age 57. See more »

Goofs

The luggage rack on the back of the car that goes over the cliff is not the same as before it goes off the road. See more »

Quotes

O'Hara: Billy, I - I think it is high time you take stock of yourself. Can you truthfully say about yourself, I - I, Billy Dannreuther, have acted fairly and squarely to my associates, huh?
Maria Dannreuther: But of course he can, Mr. O'Hara. Everybody knows Billy is the soul of honor.
Billy Dannreuther: Shut up, sugar.
O'Hara: Perhaps he is the soul of honor and perhaps appearances are deceiving.
Billy Dannreuther: Do you mind telling me what it is I'm supposed to have done?
O'Hara: Nothing. It's your conduct. Your - your - your conduct doesn't - your conduct does not ...
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

Featured in I Love You to Death (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Completely Unexpected
30 May 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Humphrey Bogart heads a superior cast in this tale of a gang of swindlers who seek to covertly purchase African lands rich in uranium--but this is not the tough film noir you might expect: the script by director John Huston and Truman Capote upends the tale to create one of the most wry and wicked comedies going, and a remarkably fine cast follows suit with a host of eccentric performances.

Although Bogart does not look his best (this film was made toward the end of his life), he offers an understated yet very witty performance as Billy Dannreuther, the man the crooks hire to make the land purchase. His leading ladies, bombshell Gina Lollobrigida and an unexpectedly blonde Jennifer Jones, are equally effective in the roles of Bogart's cheerfully pragmatic wife and the pathological liar with whom Bogart becomes romantically entangled. But the big news in this film is the supporting cast. Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, Ivor Barnard, and Marco Tulli give drop-dead-funny performances as the largely incompetent foursome behind the landsnatch scheme; Edward Underdown (as Jones' long suffering husband) is simply the most completely ludicrous Brit to hit the screen since 1930s screwball comedy; and all the cameo players nail their roles to perfection.

It would be unforgivable to give away too much of the story, but suffice to say that one wrong turn leads to another. The film never overplays its hand, maintaining a low key tone that sets off the wickedly funny script to delightful effect. Some viewers may not get the joke--much of BEAT THE DEVIL requires the ability to appreciate covert humor--but those who do will find the movie bears repeat viewing. Recommended.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


111 of 131 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 126 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed