(Review originally written at 25 January 2010)

Guess this is what happens when you let a bunch of unexperienced people with the genre people make a comedy.

So here we have a movie directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre, among others. Sounds like all the ingredients you need already to make a great movie with. "Beat the Devil" is however far from great really and actually quite the opposite. The movie is a failed attempt at making a comedy, simply because it did not had the right people for the job involved.

Director John Huston had actually never directed a comedy before on his own and Humphrey Bogart just also ain't exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of a good comedy actor of the '50's. Everything in this movie basically tells you that it did not had the right people at the right places. Even though the movie tries hard and it also does succeed at points, the movie it's timing is really off and it's story is incredibly messy, making the movie often more annoying than anything else really to watch.

All other bad elements aside, it really was the story from which the movie suffered most. The story is needlessly complicated and becomes hard to follow. It has a whole bunch of characters in it, of which you just never know or understand what they are up to. The movie does has some good dialog in it but it seemed to care less about it's actual plot, that is such a muddled one.

But well, yes when the movie does strike, it strikes rather well. I got some real laugh out of this movie at some points. It's a subtle movie with its comedy and its humor often is in its smaller things. I therefore just couldn't hate watching this movie no matter how poorly done and annoying the movie was at other points.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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