Talk:Beat the Devil (film)

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Public Domain[edit]

Why is this film in the public domain?-- 23:24, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Per a quotation in this article, nobody cared enough about the film to keep its copyright from lapsing. However, according to a quote in this article, the film is not in the public domain. Mathew5000 (talk) 22:32, 26 May 2017 (UTC)


The article describes this film as a "parody of The Maltese Falcon", but except for the presence of Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in the cast, and of a small group of crooks led by a fat man in the plot, it is nothing like The Maltese Falcon or any other "gumshoe" movie. None of it takes place in USA or in any big city or involves any private detective or any femme fatale. Can anyone source this description? If not, I'm gonna remove it from the article. HandsomeMrToad (talk) 09:24, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Yeah, I've sourced the actual intent of Capote & Huston, which was to make the film a parody of a particular genre of film, not a parody of The Maltese Falcon itself. BMK (talk)
Nice going! Very interesting. HandsomeMrToad (talk) 09:54, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Why labeled a British production?[edit]

Why does the article label this a British production? There were several producers, of whom Americans John Huston and Humphrey Bogart are the most financially prominent. The film's credits call it "A John Huston Production," and a co-production of Santana Films and another company. Santana Films was the entity through which Bogart invested his own money into the production (formed in 1948); it still exists today as a controlling entity for the Bogart estate. The cast is quite international, and the location is Italy. Huston is the director (American) and Huston and Truman Capote (Americans) are the primary credited screenplay writers (Americans), though several other writers (I believe also Americans) contributed to the screenplay. By and large this is an American - Hollywood production, with lots of international content (cast, location, source novel, etc.). I intend to replace the line in the lead section with "a Hollywood production filmed on location in Italy with an international cast." Thoughts by other editors invited here on the talk page.--Pechmerle (talk) 06:15, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

I believe you would be right to do this. It looks like an earlier editor or their source proceeded in haste.--Quisqualis (talk) 02:58, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

@Pechmerle:@Quisqualis: Recent sources describe the film as an international coproduction US-GB-Italy [1] or GB-US-Italy [2]. Mathew5000 (talk) 23:10, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

@Mathew5000: No problem with adding Italy, though I haven't seen an Italian production company named. Additionally, you'll see that I changed "uncensored" to "uncut." Reason is given in the change line for that edit. Ciao. --Pechmerle (talk) 07:51, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
@Pechmerle: Please see [3] which notes that the 1953 prerelease cuts included “some censorship excisions”. This source describes the modern restoration as “THE UNSEEN COMPLETE, UNCENSORED VERSION!” so it is perfectly reasonable for Wikipedia to refer to it as uncensored. Mathew5000 (talk) 00:47, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
@Mathew5000: I see that language in your source. Problem is that the source is an ad for Film Forum's showing of the restored version. Film Forum is a movie house, even if a non-profit one. I looked around and found a couple of other references to "uncensored" version. But they are also advertisements, and they all seem to trace back to a single source, which is itself an advertisement. That is: Sony's own announcement of its release of the restored version. For a restoration that (aside from the very welcome much better print) adds back only five minutes of screen time (all sources: 94 mins. vs. 89 mins.), "uncensored" on Sony's part is either entirely or mostly puffery to help get attention for the re-release. (Those screaming caps - UNSEEN etc. are from Sony.) I think, then, that for WP to put "uncensored" in here would be significantly overstating the degree to which any censored material is the subject of the restored five minutes. --Pechmerle (talk) 08:37, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
@Pechmerle: Even though Film Forum and Gene Siskel Film Center [4] are movie houses, they are very well respected as authorities on film history; their program notes should not be regarded as mere advertisements. In any event, here is an independent review in Film Journal International that also refers to "the censors who demanded alterations": [5]. The well-regarded Hollywood Elsewhere [6], quoting from DVD Talk [7], lists the major differences between the two versions, including a suggestive shot of Lollobrigida's bosom, and a suggestive Rita Hayworth pin-up. Mathew5000 (talk) 09:49, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
@Mathew5000: Yes, I do see those sources that you have diligently located. I wouldn't fuss if you add at the end of the paragraph something like: "Some brief images in the omitted minutes of the original version were cut by film industry censors as risqué." And cite the DVD Talk item. But I do still think those very brief cuts are too minor to merit mention in the article.--Pechmerle (talk) 10:45, 2 June 2017 (UTC)