Beat the Devil is a 1953 film directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart. It was co-authored by Huston and Truman Capote, and loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British critic Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. It was intended by Huston as a tongue-in-cheek spoof of his earlier masterpiece, The Maltese Falcon, and of films of its genre.
This Huston opus does not easily fit into the standard set of film categories; it has variously been classified as a "thriller," a "comedy," a "drama," a "crime" and a "romance" movie. It is above all else a parody of the Film Noir style that Huston himself had pioneered and as such has developed cult status in the ensuing years.
Humphrey Bogart never liked the movie, perhaps because he lost a good deal of his own money bankrolling it, and said of Beat the Devil, "Only phonies like it." Roger Ebert notes that the film has been characterized as the first camp movie. In the biographical film dramas Infamous (2006) and Capote (2005), Truman Capote, portrayed by Toby Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman, reminisces about life during the filming of Beat the Devil.
Beat the Devil is in the public domain because of unrenewed copyright, and is widely freely available and distributed over the internet as seen below.