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Beat The Devil (Delta) (1954)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lorre, Robert Morley, Edward Underdown
Director: John Huston
Category: Comedy, Classics, Classics
Studio: Delta Entertainment
100 mins



Hollywood Classics

Humphrey Bogart On Film: A Biography
The American Film Institute recently named Bogart as the number one male star of all times. Few could argue with this distinction. Humphrey Bogart remains one of the most copied, admired, and revered actors of all times. Bogie, nick-named by fellow actor Spencer Tracy, captivated us in such monumental classics as Casablanca, The Big Sleep, and The Caine Mutiny with performances that rekindle an image of what true cinema was and ought to be. From his tumultuous childhood, through his relationships with Lauren Bacall, John Huston and others, to a mythical film career, this documentary provides a glimpse into the unique life of the quintessential Hollywood legend.

Beat The Devil is a wacky comedy that's played as straight as any film noir and is even funnier as a result. Five men (Bogart, Lorre, Morley, Banard, and Tulli) are out to garner control over East African land which they believe contains a rich uranium ore Iode. Billy Dannreuther (Bogart) is married to Maria (Gina Lollobrigida), the other four are their "business associates", and Jones and Underdown are added to the mix for some interesting diversification. As the boat leaves from Italy to Africa a hodge-podge of amusingly silly adventures begins.

There isn't a moment when the picture doesn't take a left turn when you expect it to turn right. Director Huston manages to parody a number of his earlier films, including The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, and Key Largo. Bogart, who, of course, was in all those films, seems to be having a marvelous time skewering them and gives a memorable performance.


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