Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beat the Devil (1953)

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“I've got to have money. Doctor's orders are that I must have a lot of money, otherwise I become dull, listless and have trouble with my complexion.”

            There have been quite a few classic films over my five years of running this blog that were unable to grab a hold of my attention. It may be down to my having (legit diagnosed) ADHD that if my attention is not grabbed all is lost. With certain classic films (and even some newer ones) I have no doubt my nonexistent attention span is due to the story. One such classic film that failed to hold me in its power was Beat the Devil.
            Because of the story being somewhat of a bore I barely understood what on earth was happening so this summary will probably be terrible and very brief. You’ve been warned!
            Bill Dannreuther (Humphrey Bogart) and his wife Maria (Gina Lollobrigida) are stranded in Italy waiting for a ship to East Africa. Billy is working with some crooks who think they can,make a fortune off some uranium rich land in East Africa. While waiting for the ship Billy meets a young British couple Gwendolen (Jennifer Jones) and Harry Chelm. Gwendolen asks Billy a whole bunch of questions because she finds him interesting and Harry is proper English gentleman. While waiting over a few days Billy and Gwendolen start an affair.
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            Quite a bit more stuff happens in between but I am honestly in no mood to write down more of a summary I do not feel like boring the hell outta myself again.
            Beat the Devil, in my opinion, is only saved by Humphrey Bogart and John Huston’s direction and also the mix of drama and comedy. I really liked seeing Humphrey Bogart be funny and light. I am so used to seeing him as this tough guy from Warner Bros. and Sam Spade or Rick Blaine. Billy Dannreuther is one of the best characters I have seen Bogart play just because it is so different than what I am used to seeing him play. Huston’s direction is flawless. I loved the way he filmed some of the scenes from different angles.

            Only watch Beat the Devil if you are a fan of the cast or the director or Film Noir because I found this listed in a masterpost of Film Noirs available to view on YouTube.
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