BEAT THE DEVIL
1953, Sony Repertory, 89 min, UK/Italy/USA, Dir: John Huston

If screwball comedies were about criminal entanglements instead of romantic ones - and if they featured dialogue by Truman Capote - they would resemble this delightful adventure spoof. Jennifer Jones plays a compulsive liar traveling to Africa with her husband when she meets Humphrey Bogart, who’s been enlisted by a group of criminals (including Robert Morley and Peter Lorre) eager to acquire a uranium mine. Bogart lost a bundle of money and several teeth making the film, but it remains among the most distinctive and entertaining of his career. Costarring Gina Lollobrigida.


THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
1975, Warner Bros., 129 min, USA, Dir: John Huston

Michael Caine and Sean Connery are two British soldier-pals trying to bamboozle high priests of remote Kafiristan into turning over their riches by convincing them that Connery is a god. With Christopher Plummer as Rudyard Kipling (whose short story inspired the film).


KEY LARGO
1948, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: John Huston

Humphrey Bogart is Frank McCloud, a down-on-his-luck veteran visiting the father (Lionel Barrymore) and sister (Lauren Bacall) of his dead WWII buddy at their Florida Keys hotel just as a hurricane is about to hit. To make matters worse, on-the-run mobster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) has decided to lay low there with his moll (Claire Trevor) and henchmen (among them, evil Thomas Gomez) while waiting to abscond to Cuba. One of Huston’s finest films, based on Maxwell Anderson’s stage play.


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