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Beat the Devil


A group of crooks are headed to Africa in search of land with Uranium. Mystic Nights Videos

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Beat the Devil is a 1953 film directed by John Huston.<></> The screenplay was by Huston and Truman Capote, loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British journalist Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. It is a parody of Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941 film) and films of the same genre.
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 to travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.<></> The cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, and Bernard Lee.


  • Humphrey Bogart as Billy Dannreuther
  • Jennifer Jones as Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm
  • Gina Lollobrigida as Maria Dannreuther
  • Robert Morley as Peterson
  • Peter Lorre as Julius O'Hara
  • Edward Underdown as Harry Chelm
  • Ivor Barnard as Maj. Jack Ross
  • Marco Tulli as Ravello
  • Bernard Lee as Insp. Jack Clayton
  • Mario Perrone as Purser on SS Nyanga
  • Giulio Donnini as Administrator
  • Saro Urzì as Captain of SS Nyanga
  • Aldo Silvani as Charles, Restaurant Owner
  • Juan de Landa as Hispano-Suiza Driver


In a review coinciding with the film's release to 68 New York metropolitan area theaters, The New York Times called it a "pointedly roguish and conversational spoof, generally missing the book's bite, bounce and decidedly snug construction."<></>
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, who included the film in his "Great Movies" list, notes that the film has been characterized as the first camp (style) movie.<></> In the biographical film dramas Infamous (film) (2006) and Capote (film) (2005), Truman Capote, portrayed respectively by Toby Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman, reminisces about life during the filming of Beat the Devil.

Category:1953 films
Category:1950s adventure films
Category:1950s comedy films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Adventure comedy films
Category:British adventure films
Category:British comedy films
Category:British films
Category:Films based on British novels
Category:Films directed by John Huston
Category:Films set in Italy
Category:Films set in the Middle East
Category:Parody films
Category:Screenplays by Truman Capote
Category:United Artists films

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