32 user 6 critic

Beat the Devil (2002)

Decades ago, the legendary James Brown sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune. Now he wishes to renegotiate. Hired to take Mr. Brown to a rendezvous with the devil (Gary Oldman), ... See full summary »


Tony Scott


David Fincher (original concept), David Carter | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Clive Owen ... Driver
Gary Oldman ... Devil
James Brown ... Himself (as Mr. James Brown)
Marilyn Manson ... Himself
Danny Trejo ... Bob
Tony Wilson Tony Wilson ... Young James Brown
Tomirae Brown Tomirae Brown ... Vegas Girl
Judge Bradley Judge Bradley ... Crossroads Doorman


Decades ago, the legendary James Brown sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune. Now he wishes to renegotiate. Hired to take Mr. Brown to a rendezvous with the devil (Gary Oldman), the driver soon finds himself entangled in fiendish plans. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated






Release Date:

21 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hire: Beat the Devil See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RSA Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The race begins in the direction where the cars are driving past the Four Queens starting at the "F" and moving towards the "S". Later in the race as they pass the Four Queens, again, the are driving starting from the "S" and moving towards the "F". See more »


[doorbell buzzes]
Devil: Who's that?
Bob: It's Marilyn.
Devil: Who?
Bob: Creep from down the hall, complaining about the noise.
Devil: [suddenly nervous] Oh, tell him I'm not here. He spooks me out. He's weird.
Marilyn Manson: Can you keep it down in there? I'm trying to read, okay?
[holds up copy of Bible]
Devil: Complaining about the noise? Have you heard the racket he makes?
See more »

Crazy Credits

BMW recommends that you always wear your seat belt. See more »


Follows The Follow (2001) See more »


Cold Sweat, Pts. 1 & 2
Written by James Brown & Pee Wee Ellis (as Alfred Ellis)
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Weird, bizarre, stylish, funny and intense
3 December 2004 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

When you've got Gary Oldman wearing a red spandex and red lipstick in the role of the devil and James Brown, godfather of soul himself, complaining that the deal he got with the prince of darkness needs to be renegotiated because he's gotten too old to do splits, you know you've divided everyone who hears about it into two clearly marked, separated groups; those who reject it and those who are intrigued. Those that belong in the latter category probably wind up watching this commercial, are once again divided into two groups; those who love it and those who hate it. This is a clear-cut short film; either you love it or you hate it. But that doesn't mean that it's bad... just that it's limited. I don't know exactly why, but I'm thankful it is. Maybe it's because that allowed it to be what it wanted to be, what it had to be. What is that, you ask? Well, bizarre as hell, first of all. But also funny and stylish, not to mention quite intense. The race in the commercial is cool and exciting. The humor is very good... again, limited, but very good if you're into exactly that sort of thing... and I am. To an extent, at least. I laughed out loud at the 'twist' in the end. The editing and cinematography is very stylish, very typically Tony Scott. I liked all of the puns and jokes, both those concerning the devil himself and those concerning James Brown. The acting is good. Clive Owen once again delivers a perfect performance. All in all, just a very weird and bizarre yet entertaining little commercial. I recommend it to any fan of the commercials or any of the actors... and possibly fans of Tony Scott. 8/10

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