6.6/10
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125 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 »
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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
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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:

They're Out To Beat the Devil At His Own Game! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

17 December 1953 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Schach dem Teufel See more »

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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:

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

Trivia

John Huston was star/producer Humphrey Bogart's first choice to direct. However, Huston had some scheduling conflicts - he was due to make a movie with Katharine Hepburn (which was never made, as Hepburn graciously stepped aside to help out Huston), not to mention that he had to finish his then-current project Moulin Rouge (1952). Nicholas Ray, who Bogart had worked with twice before, was considered to direct in case Huston could not finish in time. See more »

Goofs

When Ahmed, the Arab Inquisitor first appears on screen, he is wearing a woman's mock turtleneck blouse with a mesh applique, outlined with satin ribbon and a bow. See more »

Quotes

Billy Dannreuther: Trouble with England, it's all pomp and no circumstance. You're very wise to get out of it, escape, while you can.
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 Overseas and Under Your Skin (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Shoddy production
4 December 2003 | by bwaynefSee all my reviews

I've tried, and tried, and tried, and have now given up trying to figure out the appeal "Beat the Devil" has to a certain clique of film fans. There's no denying its surface appeal. Bogie, Huston, Capote, Lorre, Jones, et al, but I'd have to agree with Bogart who called it a "dog." It's not exciting, it's not funny, and it's not appealing to the eye. The shoddy production values (at least for a film with a cast, director, and writer of such high calibre) were apparent to many critics of the time, so the video and DVD releases probably look no worse than the film did in 1953. The fact that the copyright holders (Bogart's company co-produced) let this fall into the public domain may be a clue to what they thought of it.


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