Beat the Devil (1953)

A quartet of international crooks — Peterson, O’Hara, Ross and Ravello — is stranded in Italy while their steamer is being repaired. With them are the Dannreuthers. The six are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but actually to buy land supposedly loaded with uranium. They are joined by others who apparently have similar designs.

(Plot summary written by Ed Stephan)


Runtime original: 01:29:00

Runtime at 90to5: 00:05:37

Director: John Huston

Writer: James Helvick (novel ‘Beat the devil’), Truman Capote screenplay), John Huston (screenplay), Anthony Veiller (uncredited), Peter Viertel (uncredited)

Editor: Ralph Kemplen

90to5 Editor: JackBlack

90to5 Editor Website:

90to5 Editor Bio:

In this satire of caper films, some cause and effect relationships have been changed. When Harry Chelms repairs the ship’s oil pump, his well intentioned intervention now appears to force the passengers to abandon ship. When the group are arrested, it now appears that Gwendolyn’s bluff is what secures their release. Some shots have been juxtaposed out of context to establish a connection, for example Major Ross exclaims “Watch yourself laddie” in an unrelated part of the scene in the actual film. Here he’s juxtaposed to show he’s a member of the group of “associates”. The romance between Gwendolyn Chelm and Billy Danrather has been mostly dropped as it has minimal effect on the outcome of the story. Maria Danrather, played by Ms. Lollobrigida is also minimized.

— JackBlack



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