The Devil's in Love (1933) Poster

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Pretty avant-garde for 1933
bill-89012 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is an amazingly "advanced" film for its time. Visually it is all about light revealing and concealing elements of the scene. Lighting changes the shape of the frame over and over, splashing patches of the scene here and there while leaving other parts totally black. Characters are often shot in close-up and illuminated fiercely, making the image strikingly two-dimensional. But at the same time the film makes use of Fox's "authentic" appearing studio sets and painstaking decor to create a convincing world in depth for a quite unconvincing plot. The movie climaxes with a battle scene that seems to owe more to Soviet film (Eisenstein et al.) than to "classical Hollywood". Taken together, these techniques would have made the film quite cheap and quick to make as well as very exciting to watch. Seen today, it articulates a strong case for the artistic aspirations of Fox Studios and for William (Wilhelm) Dieterle, a director who was involved with more than his fair share of interesting and unusual projects over forty years.

Acting in the film is quite low-key for this sort of melodramatic romance during the early thirties in Hollywood. (Compare the dialog delivery here with any John Ford Fox film of the period). The soundtrack, which does not use a musical score, is notable for the way in which the accents and tonality of the characters' voices seem foregrounded (Bela Lugosi's cameo as a military prosecutor is a case in point). The scenario seems to have deliberately toned down Jekyll-Hyde aspects in the representation of the lead character (the "devil" of the title, played by Victor Jory), which makes the sadistic revenge he takes at the end something of a surprise and pretty much eliminates any psychological tension in the character for the rest of the film. On the other hand, Loretta Young is a kind of renewable revelation in early sound films: she has an immediate, relaxed screen presence that perfectly suits the medium, and which in this case makes Jory appear even more awkward and stilted than usual. The very last shot in the film seems to me to be held long enough so that we are intended to be aware of the ironies of this particular "happy ending". It shows the stiffly posed couple of Young and Jory beside a memorial to the Really Good Man whose martyrdom in the big battle scene has removed all obstacles to their love. No kiss, no blissful fade-out - just two miserable people at attention waiting until they can be uncomfortably alone together.
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Beaux Gestes
dbdumonteil15 February 2009
Funny to see as the non-French people see the Legion Etrangère;generally in the French movies ,the hero has done something very wrong and takes refuge there;to be honest,it was the same in "Beau Geste" .Here ,the hero is unfairly charged with murder and sentenced to death and he takes refuge in civilian life.

William (Wilhem) Dieterle has a good knowledge of the French popular culture ;after all he did the best version of "Notre Dame De Paris" (The hunchback of Notre Dame ,1939)not to mention his Madame Du Barrry and his Pasteur biopics.Here in the fort,we can hear the Legion classic "As-Tu Vu la Casquette Du Père Bugeaud?" which I used to sing in nursery school (or is it my grandma who taught me the song?);the native brats sing "Cadet Rousselle" in English ;the hero's name is Morand ,the same as Pierre Benoit's legionnaire in "L'Atlantide" which was transferred to the screen several times ,even in the silent age.

The rebels who attack the fort are given the same treatment as those in Ford 's "lost patrol" (1934)or Julien Duvivier's "La Bandera" (1935):they are bastards,period.

The movie is too short and the ending is rather implausible,but it is quite entertaining and it's always a joy to see Loretta Young as the comforter angel.
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Bela Lugosi in the Foreign Legion
curly-1715 October 1999
"The Devil's in Love" is a very interesting movie, and fans of old movies consider this a gem. A good cast and a compelling plot are highlights. This could have been just another story of intrigue in the Foreign Legion, but Bela Lugosi gives a stand-out performance as the Military Prosecutor. Although Bela had a small role (remember the famous quote: "There are no small parts, only small actors") it was a key role and pivotal to the story. The scene Bela is in is actually fairly lengthy. Whereas Bela's name is absent from the main credits, Bela's performance did not go unnoticed by his growing number of fans-- who were now becoming, pardon the pun, Legion.
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Victor Jory and Bela Lugosi
kevinolzak1 December 2013
1933's "The Devil's in Love" was yet another Fox entry in the French Foreign Legion adventures so popular at the time. Major Bertram (Robert H. Barrat) has just transferred his best doctor, Andre Morand (Victor Jory), to an outpost that means certain death, then ends up poisoned after taking some medication. Andre is quickly convicted of murder, but his good friend, Capt. Jean Fabien (David Manners), ensures his escape to Port Zamba, where he resumes his practice under the name Paul Vernay, gaining time to prove himself innocent before Chief of Police Radak (C. Henry Gordon) can find him. Both Victor Jory and Bela Lugosi (as well as C. Henry Gordon) had previously appeared in a 1930 Legion feature at Fox, "Renegades" (Jory's film debut), and had another connection for the same studio: Lugosi had played the fortune teller Tarneverro in 1931's Charlie Chan feature "The Black Camel," while in the 1941 remake "Charlie Chan in Rio," Jory played the role, now called Alfredo Marana. David Manners, from "Dracula" and "The Death Kiss," would work with Lugosi once more in 1934's "The Black Cat," while Loretta Young would actually work with Boris Karloff this same year, in "The House of Rothschild." Lugosi found steady employment at Fox prior to Dracula, but this one-shot return went unnoticed at the time; inexplicably, he receives no on-screen credit (for the last time), though it's clearly a showy part that served him well (about five minutes screen time). Wearing a bushy moustache and clad in military uniform, Bela's smug and confident prosecutor actually wins his case. Other impressive performances are essayed by J. Carrol Naish and Akim Tamiroff.
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Another Chance To See Jory As A Leading Man
Handlinghandel9 December 2005
Victor Jory never became a major star. He is better known for later character roles than for his early leads. But he was very handsome and an excellent actor.

His love scenes with Loretta Young in this romantic adventure thriller are passionate. Their kisses look very real. And very modern.

Vivienne Osborne is a standout here also. She plays a woman with a reputation. But the character has a good heart.

The print I saw was not clear. But what a joy that rare movies like this are turning up! And they are, in some sort of watchable condition, still intact. This is nothing truly special. But if one is willing to sift through movies of its era with similarly intriguing titles, one is likely to find some suprtb movies.
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Sin and sun in the middle of the desert keeps Loretta young.
mark.waltz22 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A fascinating pre-code Foreign Legion adventure stars character actor Victor Jory giving an excellent performance as a doctor accused of murder, going into hiding and falling in love with good girl Loretta Young as the law moves in. Herbert Mundin is delightfully smarmy as Bimpy, basically his usual charming, cockney con-artists self, possibly not one whom Jory should be trusting. Vivienne Osborne is excellent as an obvious madame whom Jory has known in the past, jealously encountering Young and making it clear to the innocent lamb through insinuation that there's more than just a friendly conversation going on between her and Jory. C. Henry Gordon is his usual hard-nosed military official, the officious military police captain out to bring Jory back to justice, and David Manners is Jory's rival for Young's affections. But the most surprising appearance of all is the unbilled Bela Lugosi as the foreign legion prosecutor who pretty much dominates the opening scene with a commanding performance. Excellent photography and some great sets make this almost appear to be a Von Sternberg film, although Dietrich would have been quite different than Young had this been made over at Paramount rather than at lowly Fox.
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What a coincidence!
marcslope10 October 2005
Victor Jory, a French Foreign Legion medic unjustly charged with murdering a superior officer, escapes the firing squad with the aid of best pal David Manners. He finds sanctuary in Loretta Young's mission and falls in love with her, not knowing that just a few months ago she was in Paris and met and became engaged to... David Manners! Other implausibilities and co-inky-dinks dot this sub-Hemingway nonsense, which also features the alleged comic relief of Herbert Mundin and Vivienne Osborne as Jory's old flame -- an independent-minded, self-sacrificing, and thoroughly admirable Bad Woman who makes the Latin Quarter of whatever North African outpost this is supposed to be look infinitely more fun than the virtuous surroundings of Young's mission. Young, required only to look pretty and play holier-than-thou, does so competently, and the director, William (still billed as "Wilhelm" at this point in his career) Dieterle, was always good for some striking compositions. It's also interesting to see Jory, usually in supporting and/or villainous roles, attempt a Gary Cooper-type hero. He's a little stolid and you're never aware of anything much going on in his head, but that would be asking a lot of a character drawn this broadly. An amiable time-waster with a pointless title, and it's fun to watch the audacious turns of plot and twists of fate pile up.
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