Combustible Celluloid
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With: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, Edward Underdown, Ivor Barnard, Marco Tulli, Bernard Lee
Written by: Truman Capote, John Huston, based on a novel by James Helvick
Directed by: John Huston
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 100
Date: 11/24/1953

Beat the Devil (1954)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Desperate Characters

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Truman Capote wrote the screenplay for this 1954 John Huston film,perhaps the oddest film Humphrey Bogart ever made. On their way toAfrica, Bogey and Gina Lollobrigida get stranded in Italy while waitingfor steamboat repairs. A band of rogues are also on hand, and theseweird, seedy characters sit around in off-kilter close-ups and exchangewry dialogue. Eventually it's revealed that they all have secret plansinvolving Uranium deposits. It's nearly incomprehensible at times, andyet it has a captivating vibe that makes it compulsively watchable. Itwas a flop but has subsequently become a cult classic.

DVD Details: Beat the Devil has fallen into the public domain, and so it's available on several cheap DVDs.

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