Huston tore up the first draft of the script the weekend before the start of principal photography (Capote was hired to write a new one on set), Peter Sellers dubbed some of Bogart's lines (B was in a car accident and had trouble speaking), Lollobrigida learned her lines phonetically, and the cast and crew were either drunk or half-drunk. Surprisingly, all this translates into a fairly entertaining spoof.
An ordinary spy/comedy movie as many hundreds produced by American film industry. The positive thing is that many of the characters are very brilliant and made this movie at least a good comedy. The screenplay and the narrative structure are perfect in terms of technique, but I can't see an original expression or a creative meaning, It doesn't bring anything new to cinema.
You may not understand why I love Peter Lorre, but that's because you're a fucking sheep. You like the pretty movie stars don't you? You go with the flow. Did you know Peter Lorre was called "the greatest living actor" by Charlie Chaplin? Of course you didn't because you think Tom Cruise is a great actor.
One of the worst movies I saw, from both Huston & Bogart :(. I do not understand why both of them decided to be involved in it, unless they were both bankrupt & in dire need of money. According to IMDB, it's a wry comedy. It only gave me a headacke trying to follow the story, while some performances were plain bad (Jennifer Jones especially), At least, Bogart seemed 2 have fun playing a pastiche of his usual bad guy.
I read somewhere that the characters in "Beat The Devil" and "The Rules Of The Game" could very comfortably meet and mingle. I guess the odd and international mix of people plus the outwardly light but inwardly complicated and deceptive nature of everyone in the two films would bring them all together. In any event, it partially hints to me why I find this film so fascinating and so much fun.
Go into this film with no expectations and you'll have a great ride. All the characters are stereotypes, with each actor's over-the-top performance based on roles they'd already played in previous films. I can't imagine how theater audiences in the fifties reacted to this movie. Or is it only 50 years later that we realize just how "postmodern" this film really is? Did Huston and his gang of writers know as well?
Only modestly entertaining comic adventure. Great character work from an all-star cast, but the story (with a script by Huston and Truman Capote) just never takes off, making for a very long 90 minutes too light on both laughs and suspense. Has its moments, but mostly a disappointment.