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  • Beat The Devil (Special Edition) [DVD]
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Beat The Devil (Special Edition) [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Writers: John Huston, Anthony Veiller, Claud Cockburn, Peter Viertel, Truman Capote
  • Producers: Humphrey Bogart, Angelo Rizzoli
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 1delta Music
  • DVD Release Date: 15 May 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RJFA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,600 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A disparate group of travellers descend upon the East African coast, all hoping to claim a piece of uranium-rich land. Billy (Humphrey Bogart) and Maria Dannreuther (Gina Lollobrigida) arrive with their four shady business partners, but seem to have been beaten to the mark by the priggish Harry Chelm (Edward Underdown) and his wife Gwendolyn (Jennifer Jones). When they all attempt to leave, their steamer explodes, and the seven survivors are taken hostage by a group of Arabs. John Huston directed this offbeat spoof-adventure from a Truman Capote script. This special edition is introduced by Tony Curtis and features the original theatrical trailer for 'The Big Sleep'. The DVD also includes the 30-minute documentary 'Humphrey Bogart on Film - A Biography'.

Review

############################################################################################################################################################################################################################################################### --New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R J Hemingway on 17 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I avoided buying one of the other two versions of this film, by Elstree Hill Studios, because I had heard that the picture quality was of an unacceptable standard. The picture quality on this version, by Brightspark, is also of an inferior standard and I would suggest that customers should avoid it at all costs.
There is another version, by Wienerworld Ltd., and I would appreciate any reviews.
The still on the cover of the Brightspark production suggests a fine print but this, as I have said, is far from the case.Beat The Devil [DVD] [1953]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Colin on 5 May 2011
Format: DVD
As noted before this Delta / LaserLight release's picture quality is good. I knocked off some points because they put on a Delta ident in a few spots in the film. It comes on in the corner in a few points in the film for around 30 sec each time but is only as obtrusive as a TV station ident on the digital channels.

The picture is rock solid, sharp and seems to be from a good print. Audio is clear. It claims to be digitally mastered on the label.

Extras: a short intro by Tony Curtis and a theatrical trailer for The Big Sleep and documentary Humphrey Bogart on Film.

Above all do not buy the Elstree Hill Beat The Devil [1953] [DVD] version, that has the worst possible picture quality imaginable. In fact I haven't seen a decent Elstree Hill release yet, I think they source from cd-rom or poor divx.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
"Beat the Devil," a 1953 release, is a 173 minute action/adventure/comedy, with a very distinguished list of talent before and behind the camera. It was produced by its principal star, Humphrey Bogart, (Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon). He was, of course, the American actor and cultural icon; in 1997, Entertainment Weekly magazine named him the number one movie legend of all time. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him as the greatest male star. The picture was quite popular at the time of its release; it was considered a witty, dry-humored spoof of the caper films that were then in vogue. But its popularity has slipped somewhat, and, oddly enough, according to the Internet, it was allowed to fall into the public domain. And that, I guess, accounts for its many inferior quality DVD releases out there, with muddy picture and sound. The version I saw comes with another film on a disk that can be bought amazingly cheaply at various places. And, criminally enough, it comes without subtitles, for a film once noted for its witty script.

A quartet of international crooks - Peterson (popular British comic actor Robert Morley,Murder At The Gallop (1963)), O'Hara (Peter Lorre, CASABLANCA, THE MALTESE FALCON), Major Jack Ross (Ivor Bernard) and Ravello -- is stranded in Italy while their ocean-going steamer is being repaired. The Dannreuthers.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
You'd think that "Beat the Devil" would be far better known than it is, since it was one of the last movies that Humphrey Bogart did before his untimely death. Maybe that's because Bacall wasn't in it, or maybe it was just too quirky for the masses -- a funny, wry noir-satire, with a gang of rather inept criminals.

Billy Dannreuther (Bogart) is part of a motley group planning to go to Africa, where a friend can help them illegally claim uranium. But trouble arrives: stuffy Harry Chelm (Edward Underdown) and his very imaginative wife Gwen (Jennifer Jones) arrive, and soon they're flirting with Billy and his sensual wife Maria (Gina Lollabrigida).

Even worse, Gwen's "exaggeration" habit is making the gang distrust Billy, thinking that he's withholding information from them. He isn't, of course. But all the personal plots and distrust come to a boil when everyone boards the ship, and Harry reveals that he knows everything about their uranium plot. Now Billy has to save himself and his friends, without Harry being bumped off...

"Beat the Devil" is an all-around satire -- it mocks grabby criminals, pathological liars, stodgy Brits, romance movies, crime capers, and even second-rate boats ("Of course, the captain is drunk!"). In fact, there's very little about this movie that doesn't poke fun at itself, or at the movies of the time.

And since it was adapted by John Huston and Truman Capote, you know that it's being witty as it makes fun. It languidly builds up in a sunny, ruined city where people plot and flirt, and then starts to boil when they get on board the boat. But even engine failures manage to be entertaining when Harry wrecks the oil pump while trying to fix it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Coxhead on 8 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
A good film spoilt by poor reproduction, the b&w film was grainey and poorly focused
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 April 2013
Format: DVD
It was delightful watching this old film, black and white, bad transfer and all.

Four bad guys are on their way to East Africa to secure a deal with uranium mines. Their agent is Billy (Humphrey Bogart) a man who is a "typical rare spirit." His wife is Maria (Gina Lollobrigida). They meet a British couple who are also on their way to Africa. Gina falls for the husband Harry (Edward Underdown) while Harry's wife Gwendolen (Jennifer Jones) falls for Billy. They are stranded in Italy as the boat is in need of repairs and the captain is always full of spirits.

Jennifer Jones steals this film as a fast thinker with an over active imagination who is prone to lying in every situation. The dialouge, in part written by Truman Capote, reflects national stereotypes that translate into today's world, as well as clever oxymorons, mispronounced words and misused phrases. It is film in which you want to pay close attention to the words. The bad guys are quite the lot. Peter Lorre plays Julius O'Hara, claiming "There are a lot of German O'Hara's from Chile." Maj. Jack Ross (Ivor Barnard) spouts off his love for Hitler and Mussolini along with wild conspiracy ideas. Would make for a wicked remake.
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