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Blu-ray Review: BEAT THE DEVIL
Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 93 minutes, audio commentary, featurette, trailer, booklet
VIDEO: 1.33:1 1080p High Definition
AUDIO: English 1.0 Mono DTS_H MA
Subtitles: English

STUDIO: Twilight Time/ Sony Pictures/ Columbia Pictures/ Santana Pictures/ Romulus Films
RELEASE DATE: 1-22-2019
BEAT THE DEVIL is a light beat movie about the misadventures crooks have on their way to Africa in hopes of claiming land rich with uranium deposits in Africa. Billy Dannreuther (Humphrey Bogart) and his wife Maria (Gina Lollobridgida ) are down on their luck and they fall in reluctantly with a group of crooks as they try to con a British couple, Harry (Edward Underdown) and Gwendolen Chelm (Jennifer Jones). Harry is a boring and proper British gentleman while Gwen loves to tell fanciful lies. They all wait in a small Italian port to board a steamer ship bound for Mombasa. Billy seduces Gwen while his wife flirts with Harry. Meanwhile the crooks are a motley lot and Major Ross is the type to murder people. BEAT THE DEVIL is more about the journey and characters than actually following a plot. The script is based on a novel by Claud Cockburn and written on a day-to-day basis by writer Truman Capote and director john Huston. The movie feels like the cast and crew were having fun while getting ina good European vacation.

The director's cut has been presented on blu-ray from a 4K restoration Sony did in cooperation with the Film Foundation. The movie looks beautiful and crisp with the director's cut being presented for the first time on blu-ray where the only version available for over 50 years in the US was an edited version with a Humphrey Bogart narration. This limited edition from Twilight Time includes the director's cut and the US theatrical cut is nowhere to be seen (but you can track down poor quality public domain copies of that version).

Audio commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and nick Redman discuss the history of the movie and its production in addition to its status as a cult film that was mangled before release.

ALEXANDER COCKBURN BEAT THE DEVIL- an interview with the son of the author of BEAT THE DEVIL as he talks about his father, the book, how the movie and book are the same while pointing some changes (like the ending) for the movie. He also mentions his father even attempted to write a screenplay of the book
Also on the disc is the original theatrical trailer and a small booklet with a short essay is included in the case.

FINAL ANALYSIS: For the longest time, I didn't like BEAT THE DEVIL, but the director's cut makes me really like this light hearted affair which you should buy on blu-ray before all 3000 copies sell out.

This review is (c)2-18-2019 David Blackwell and cannot be repeated without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and look for additional content/ news at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com