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Beat the Devil
     

Beat the Devil

5.0 1
Director: John Huston

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida

 

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Humphrey Bogart stars as one of five disreputable adventurers who are trying to get uranium out of East Africa. Bogart's associates include pompous fraud Robert Morley, and Peter Lorre as the German-accented "O'Hara," whose wartime record is forever a source of speculation and suspicion. Becoming involved in Bogart's machinations are a prim British married couple

Overview

Humphrey Bogart stars as one of five disreputable adventurers who are trying to get uranium out of East Africa. Bogart's associates include pompous fraud Robert Morley, and Peter Lorre as the German-accented "O'Hara," whose wartime record is forever a source of speculation and suspicion. Becoming involved in Bogart's machinations are a prim British married couple (Edward Underdown and blonde-wigged Jennifer Jones). As a climax to their many misadventures and double-crosses, the uranium seekers end up facing extermination by an Arab firing squad. The satirical nature of Beat the Devil eluded many moviegoers in 1953, and the film was a failure. The fact that the picture attained cult status in lesser years failed to impress its star Humphrey Bogart, who could only remember that he lost a considerable chunk of his own money when he became involved in the project.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Judd Blaise
Director John Huston and actor Humphrey Bogart, who had previously collaborated on classics ranging from The Maltese Falcon to The African Queen, teamed up for the last time on Beat the Devil, the least known and most unfairly underrated of their five joint efforts. An exquisitely dry comedy with a witty script by Truman Capote, the film finds subtle, absurdist laughs in the misadventures of Bogart's tough customer, who becomes involved in a complex scheme to gain control of a patch of uranium-rich land in Africa. Indeed, the humor is played with such a straight face that many critics have suggested that the film's first audiences did not realize they were watching a comedy, contributing to its box office failure. Audiences in later years, however, have revived interest in the film, fully appreciating its bounty of comic riches. In addition to the well-plotted, always unpredictable script, the production is bolstered by uniformly excellent performances. Bogart treats his usual romantic cynic role with a pleasingly light touch, and establishes superb chemistry with Jennifer Jones, who portrays the female half of a seemingly proper British couple who may not be everything they seem. Especially strong laughs are provided by a memorably colorful rogue's gallery of supporting villains and kooks, including an especially nervous Peter Lorre.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/1999
UPC:
0096009025434
Original Release:
1953
Rating:
R
Source:
Echo Bridge
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:33:00
Sales rank:
8,567

Special Features

Digitally remastered; Humphrey Bogart Biography

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Billy Dannreuther
Jennifer Jones Gwendolyn Chelm
Gina Lollobrigida Maria Dannreuther
Robert Morley Peterson
Peter Lorre O'Hara
Edward Underdown Harry Chelm
Ivor Barnard Major Ross
Bernard Lee Insp. Clayton
Marco Tulli Ravello
Al Silvani Charles
Saro Urzi Captain
Juan de Landa Hispano-Suiza Driver
Mimmo Poli Barman
Giulio Donnini Administrator

Technical Credits
John Huston Director,Screenwriter
Truman Capote Screenwriter
Jack Clayton Associate Producer
Freddie Francis Camera Operator
Robert Haggiag Producer
Ralph Kemplen Editor
Franco Mannino Score Composer
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
Wilfred Shingleton Production Designer
Lambert Williamson Musical Direction/Supervision

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Beat the Devil
2. Waiting [5:56]
3. Dining [9:37]
4. The Visit [8:57]
5. Preparations [5:06]
6. Breakdown [10:04]
7. On the Boat [11:18]
8. Problems [5:55]
9. Indignation [4:23]
10. Leaving [10:16]
11. The Deal [9:59]

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Beat the Devil 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HappyCookerFL More than 1 year ago
This is a fabulous film and I 'm so glad to see it is available on DVD. The cast is excellent - Gina Lollabrigida, Robert Morley, Bogart, and Peter Lorre. Bogart plays a cynical soldier of fortune who has agreed to lead a party seeking uranium mining rights in Africa. A series of subtly comical mishaps occur while they are waiting for their ship to transport them to the uranium fields. Peter Lorre's character almost steals the movie with a monologue on the nature of time. The fine hands of director John Huston and writer Truman Capote are evident throughout this movie.