Easily one of the most irreverent, tongue-in-cheek movies made under Hollywood auspices, Beat The Devil stands out for many reasons.
First, the amount and level of talent involved here is truly extraordinary. John Huston directs from a witty, bitter script on which he collaborated with none other than Truman Capote.
Cinematographer Oswald Morris was assisted by future cinematographic giant Freddie Francis, and even a young Stephen Sondheim made his way onto the set as the clapper boy!
Then there’s the cast. Humphrey Bogart served as one of the producers, and it was his clout that enabled the film to be made in the first place. Onscreen he’s joined by Gina Lollobrigida and Jennifer Jones, along with two of the all-time great character actors, Peter Lorre and Robert Morley.
This is a production where you can sense the actors had a tremendous amount of fun on the set.
The story has something to do with uranium rights in Africa, but it’s not really that important.
Traditional rules of cause and effect are loosened here, thanks partly to the fact that the film was an independent, international coproduction. This led to increased creative freedom and financial autonomy, and the talents behind Beat The Devil plainly took advantage here.
A one-of-a-kind movie that slipped through the cracks.
Mrs Gwendolen Chelm
Maor Jack Ross
Inspector Jack Clayton
Captain of SS Nyanga
Juan de Landa