June 30, 2019

AFI Silver Presents Restored Beat the Devil

In an interview, Peter Lorre recalled Beat the Devil (1954) as “a delicious sardonic comedy” that was “a flop first in New York” because the studio opened it with “a blood-and-thunder campaign”. Hastily re-edited by director John Huston before its release, with a tacked-on opening voice-over by lead actor Humphrey Bogart and four minutes trimmed from its running time, the movie fell into public domain years ago and has been seen only in this form – until 2017.

A new restoration went back to the original 35mm camera negative, as well as other sources, to re-create the longer version, which has been shown in some venues since February 2017.

And now, Lorre fans in the area of Silver Spring, Maryland, will have the opportunity to enjoy this uncensored version when the AFI Silver Theatre screens Beat the Devil (1954) on July 1, 2, and 3, 2019, as part of its series “United Artists Centennial Retrospective”.

Beat the Devil will be shown on the following days and times ~
  • Monday, July 1 – 2:30 pm
  • Tuesday, July 2 – 7 pm
  • Wednesday, July 3 – 12 noon
Tickets are $13 general admission; $11 for seniors (age 65 and over) and military (with valid ID); and $8 for children (age 12 and under). AFI members, 2-star level and higher, may purchase tickets for $11. Matinee showings – weekdays before 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday before 12 noon – are $10. Tickets may be purchased at the box-office, as well as through the AFI Silver website.

The series “United Artists Centennial Retrospective” begins Sunday, June 30, 2019, and runs until Friday, July 12, 2019. The full schedule is available on the AFI Silver Theatre website.

The AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Road, at the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Parking is available in several public parking decks close to the theater. Most convenient is the Wayne Avenue garage, located at 921 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland. Parking at the Wayne Avenue garage is free on weekends and after 8 pm on weekdays.

Directions to the cinema, as well as information about parking and public transportation, may be found on the AFI Silver website.

In the pages of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, Stephen D. Youngkin discusses the chaotic making of Beat the Devil, the fifth and final movie Peter made with his old pal, Humphrey Bogart.

Working on location in Italy, the two pranksters welcomed celebrity visitors such as George Sanders to the set, played practical jokes on cast-mates, and enjoyed the ping-playing form of co-star Gina Lollabrigida. For Peter, the experience of working on Beat the Devil with Bogart and director John Huston turned back the clock to a happier time and memories of filming The Maltese Falcon (1941).

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre may be purchased from Amazon U.S., Amazon Canada, and Amazon U.K, as well as other booksellers.

Click on any of these links, and the order page will open.

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