Beat the Devil (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

An exquisitely dry comedy with a witty script by Truman Capote, this film finds subtle, absurdist laughs in the misadventures of Humphrey Bogart's tough customer, who becomes involved in a complex scheme to gain control of a patch of uranium-rich land in Africa.

Rating: R
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John Huston, Truman Capote
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 29, 2005
American Pop Classics - Official Site

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as Billy Dannreuther

as Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm

as Maria Dannreuther

as Peterson

as O'Hara

as Harry Chelm

as Major Ross

as Insp. Clayton

as Ravello

as Hotel Manager

as Charles

as Administrator

as Captain of SS Nyanga

as Hispano-Suiza Driver

as Ahmed - Arab Inquisi...

as Barman (uncredited)

as Barman

as Charles
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Critic Reviews for Beat the Devil

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

If Beat the Devil puzzled audiences on its first release, it has charmed them since.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

he film ranges from the diffident to the grotesque, with Huston selecting his lenses to make the performers look as freakish as possible.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 8, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It looks like it's going to be a riot, but turns out almost laugh free.

Full Review… | August 23, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Beat the Devil

Beat the Devil is too comedy to be an adventure movie and too much of an adventure movie to be a comedy. You'd think getting John Huston & Humphrey Bogart (and Peter Lorre, too!) together again would be a great thing but the more I see of Bogart's filmography from the 50s, the more I realize that it just wasn't his decade. Beat the Devil is just a collection of unrealized possibilities. A great con picture that never happened, a great heist picture that could've been and what in the hell could possibly possess a man to choose Jennifer Jones over Gina Lollobrigida? Beyond that you're just in for some nice scenery (Lollobrigida included) and a mess hiding behind the guise of amusement at the end.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

An oddball collection of individuals from varying backgrounds and parts of the globe board a ship bound for Africa to seek their fortunes. Obviously an homage to Huston's classic debut The Maltese Falcon, Beat The Devil is a curious mix of comedy and intrigue that doesn't really work as either. The collection of racial stereotypes on display farcically bumping into each other, engaging in affairs and hushed conversations made it feel like an Agatha Christie murder mystery; but with out the murder. Or the mystery. Bogie coasts through the film with a look of mild amusement exercising his usual dry wit and Robert Morley seems to be doing a kind of stuffy Sidney Greenstreet impersonation, but all the characters are really rather annoying and it's kind of difficult to care what happens to any of them. The ladies were easy on the eye and Bogart is always worth watching but during the whole thing I just wished I was watching Across the Pacific instead.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A great cast in a great movie about a bunch of thieves. I highly recommend this movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

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