Beat the Devil (1953 film)


Beat the Devil (1953 film)

Infobox Film
name = Beat the Devil


caption =
imdb_id = 0046414
producer = John Huston
director = John Huston
writer = James Helvick (novel)
John Huston
Truman Capote
starring = Humphrey Bogart
Jennifer Jones
Gina Lollobrigida
Peter Lorre
Robert Morley
Edward Underdown
Ivor Barnard
Marco Tulli
Bernard Lee
Saro Urzì
music = Franco Mannino
cinematography = Oswald Morris
editing =
distributor = Romulus Films
released = November 24, 1953
runtime = 89 min.
country = UK
amg_id = 1:4481
language = English|

"Beat the Devil" is a 1953 film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart. It was co-authored by Huston and Truman Capote, and loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British critic Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. It was intended by Huston as a tongue-in-cheek spoof of his earlier masterpiece, "The Maltese Falcon", and of films of its genre.

Plot

The script, which was written on a day-to-day basis as the film was being shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne'er-do-wells trying to lay claim to land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port of travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa. The all-star cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley (playing the role that Sydney Greenstreet would have played had he still been acting), Peter Lorre and Bernard Lee (who was to gain widespread recognition with his appearances as "M" in the James Bond movies).

This Huston opus does not easily fit into the standard set of film categories; it has variously been classified as a "thriller," a "comedy," a "drama," a "crime" and a "romance" movie. It is above all else a parody of the Film Noir style that Huston himself had pioneered and as such has developed cult status in the ensuing years.

Reception

The movie was not well received critically (although it was to become a National Board of Review winner) and was to mark the closure of the "quest movies" period in Huston’s career.

Humphrey Bogart never liked the movie, perhaps because he lost a good deal of his own money bankrolling it, and said of "Beat the Devil", "Only phonies like it." Roger Ebert notes that the film has been characterized as the first camp movie. In the biographical film dramas "Infamous" (2006) and "Capote" (2005), Truman Capote, portrayed by Toby Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman, reminisces about life during the filming of "Beat the Devil".

"Beat the Devil" is in the public domain because of unrenewed copyright, and is widely freely available and distributed over the internet as seen below.

External links

*imdb title|id=0046414|title=Beat the Devil
* [http://www.archive.org/details/beat_the_devil Download or stream "Beat the Devil"]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Maltese Falcon (1941 film) — The Maltese Falcon Theatrical release poster Directed by John Huston Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Film noir — Le film noir est plus un courant qu un genre cinématographique apparu aux États Unis et fortement inspiré des nouvelles de détective de Dashiell Hammett ou Raymond Chandler, elles mêmes dérivées du naturalisme, un mouvement littéraire basé sur le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Film Musical — Marilyn Monroe dans la bande annonce de Les hommes préfèrent les blondes, 1953 Le film musical[1] est un genre de cinéma qui contient de la …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Amazing Criswell — Still from the intro from Plan 9 Born Jeron Criswell Konig August 7, 1907(1907 08 07) Princeton, Indiana, U.S. Died …   Wikipedia

  • Film noir — Two silhouetted figures in The Big Combo (1955). The film s cinematographer was John Alton, the creator of many of film noir s iconic images …   Wikipedia

  • Film musical — Marilyn Monroe dans la bande annonce de Les hommes préfèrent les blondes (1953). Le film musical[1] est un genre de cinéma qui co …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Gene Krupa Story — Infobox Film name = The Gene Krupa Story caption = director = Don Weis producer = Philip A. Waxman writer = Orin Jannings starring = Sal Mineo Susan Kohner James Darren Susan Oliver music = Leith Stevens cinematography = editing = distributor =… …   Wikipedia

  • The Man with the Golden Arm — For the novel, see The Man with the Golden Arm (novel). The Man with the Golden Arm Saul Bass s poster for the film Directed by …   Wikipedia

  • The Ashes — Infobox cricket tournament main name = The Ashes imagesize = 220px caption = The Ashes urn is reputed to contain a burnt item of cricket equipment, possibly a bail. administrator = International Cricket Council cricket format = Test tournament… …   Wikipedia

  • List of film noir — The following is a list of films and television series often described as film noir . Film noir is a loosely defined category that refers primarily to stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity, sexual… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.