Cinema: The New Pictures, Mar. 8, 1954

Beat the Devil (Santana; United Artists), if it is any one thing at all, is as elaborate a shaggy-dog story as has ever been told. It was made up by Author Truman (Other Voices, Other Rooms) Capote and Director John (The African Queen) Huston during the spring season last year at Ravello, on the Gulf of Sorrento, apparently by stirring Strega fumes slowly into a novel by James Helvick. Because Huston happened to have $1,000,000 and several talented actors at his disposal, everybody fell to and turned the bibble-babble into a movie.

When shooting started, only Huston and Capote knew what the...

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