- Casino Royale Review
- Carrie (1976)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Rain Man (1988)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Targets (1968)
- An Education (2009)
- Mirror, The (1974)
- Fargo (1996)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Do The Right Thing (1989)
- Report (1967)
- Is "The Sting" The Best Gambling Film Ever Made?
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943), Or 28 Angry Men
- Rome, Open City (1945)
- Spring in a Small Town (1948)
- Drive (2011)
- Vinyl (1965)
- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- A Hollywood Invasion of Casino Halls
- Thin Man, The (1934)
- In The Heat of the Night (1967)
- All In: The Poker Movie, Player’s Best Tricks
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
Beat the Devil (1953)
Genre: Comedy Adventure Crime Romance Drama (USA, UK, Italy)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart (The Big Sleep • Casablanca), Jennifer Jones (Madame Bovary • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit)
Directed By: John Huston (Key Largo • The Maltese Falcon)
Overview: A band of rogues waiting to acquire land rich in uranium meet a couple headed the same way, leading to a somewhat cat-and-mouse affair.
: characterized by insincerity, irony, or whimsical exaggeration.
Oddly enough, the definition above does not include 'boredom-inducing', which is surprising, given the overall mood of Beat The Devil. Yes, John Huston did a wonderful job of creating a work acclaimed as greatly inferior to his Films Noir, yet tongue-in-cheek doesn't mean 'inferior', it just means 'parody of an existing genre', in this case the Quest Film Noir, most notably, Huston's own The Maltese Falcon.
The only thing standing between you and a watery grave is your wits, and that's not my idea of adequate protection. - Billy Dannreutherie
Written in part by Truman Capote, Beat the Devil is the story of a man smarter than the surly counterparts who hired him to facilitate the purchase (read: theft) of uranium-rich land in Kenya. As they wait for their ship to be ready, they meet an English couple who may or may not be rich gentry, and who may or may not be worthy of pursuit / befriending / skulduggery, and perhaps the only thing that we can be truly sure of about Mrs. Gwendolen Chelm is that she is always lying. With such a mix of fops and curs we can expect interesting developments, yet right from the opening scene, Beat The Devil fails to deliver any of the sort of suspense one would enjoy in this genre of film, since it opens with the four unsavoury characters in handcuffs being lead to jail, and rather than wondering if they'll be caught, we wonder instead how they got there.
As a drama Beat the Devil's characters are just over the top enough that we can't take them seriously, but not so much so that we're laughing. As a comedy, the characters are merely passably quirky, and the laugh out loud scenes number in the single digits - by that I mean 1.
The reason this is in 1001 Movies, I don't think I'll ever know. One thing I do know, Bogart hated it, and lost a lot of money financing it.
Performance: 7 Cinematography: 6 Script: 5 Plot: 6 Mood: 4
Overall Rating: 56% (The Bastard Won In The End!)
As I watched, I wondered why the script seemed so weak and unpolished, and I've come to learn that it was written day-by-day as the film was being shot. I'd say even Truman Capote needs a second draft...
At least John Huston was confident enough to laugh at himself. Sadly he laughed at me a little too.
For those of you keeping Noir score - yes there's a slapping scene.