6.9/10
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27 user 24 critic

Ruthless (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance | 4 November 1948 (UK)
A poor boy who saved a rich girl from drowning is adopted by her family but he grows into a money-hungry ruthless businessman who would step on others to get to the top of the social ladder.

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Writers:

Dayton Stoddart (novel), S.K. Lauren (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zachary Scott ... Horace Woodruff Vendig
Louis Hayward ... Vic Lambdin
Diana Lynn ... Martha Burnside / Mallory Flagg
Sydney Greenstreet ... Buck Mansfield
Lucille Bremer ... Christa Mansfield
Martha Vickers ... Susan Duane
Dennis Hoey ... Mr. Burnside
Edith Barrett ... Mrs. Burnside
Raymond Burr ... Pete Vendig
Joyce Arling Joyce Arling ... Kate Vendig
Charles Evans ... Bruce McDonald
Robert J. Anderson ... Horace Vendig as Child (as Bob Anderson)
Arthur Stone Arthur Stone ... Vic Lambdin as Child
Ann Carter ... Martha Burnside as Child
Edna Holland ... Libby Sims
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Storyline

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by richer neighbours he started to exhibit an obsessive and selfish urge to make more and more money, loving and leaving women at will to further this end. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

POWER...AND MOMEY WERE HIS GODS! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1948 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Prelude to Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Terra Distributors VHS copy is a truncated version, running only 86 minutes, not the complete version. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Burnside: [to unhappy young Horace] Be brave. Be a man.
Horace Vendig as Child: I don't want to be a man. Never! I wish there weren't any men in the whole world.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A+ Drama. What a treat, if you can find it.
30 November 2000 | by SanDiegoSee all my reviews

Excellent drama about a poor boy who is adopted by a rich family after saving their daughter from drowning. Given all the benefits of wealth and society, he uses the people who care about him and give him his breaks, especially the women he meets. Zachery Scott is chilling in his mentally perverse portrayal of a tycoon that is more in league with Norman Bates than William Randall Hurst. Diana Lynn (the Sandra Bullock of her day) is wonderful as the woman he had saved as a girl and who's heart he would break in his rise to success. There is a twist in the plot mid-way that will be a treat to Lynn fans, though I would have liked to seen more of her in the second half. The entire cast is compelling and the soundtrack is appropriately eerie. Very rare to find this on VHS or TV, so if you find it anywhere, get it, rent it, buy it, tape it, watch it.


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