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The Devil Makes Three (1952)

Gene Kelly , Pier Angeli , Andrew Marton  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Kelly, Pier Angeli, Richard Rober, Richard Egan, Claus Clausen
  • Directors: Andrew Marton
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,307 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Capt. Jeff Eliot (Gene Kelly) roams the tawdry dives of post-war Munich searching for a delicate young beauty named Wilhelmina (Pier Angeli), the only survivor of the family that hid him from the Nazis after his plane was shot down during the war. He wants to help her. She wants to use him to smuggle contraband into Austria. But what looks like a small-time black market scheme hides something far more sinister: a vicious, well-financed conspiracy to revive the Third Reich. Shot on location and boasting a skilled international cast, The Devil Makes Three features footage of motorcycles zooming along Hitler's sleek Autobahn and competing in a thrilling race on a frozen lake, plus a climatic showdown filmed at the Führer's mountain retreat near Berchtesgaden. Kelly is both virile action hero and shrewd detective "in a fine, restrained characterization" (Howard Thompson, The New York Times) that anchors the intrigue-laced plot.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Theo J.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's a shame this film took so long to make DVD release---it's an ambitious piece of filmmaking. Sadly, the premise of a neo-Nazi resurgence in postwar Germany had been pretty well worked over by 1952, when the film was released. Still, it's got a lot going for it; Gene Kelly gives a respectable dramatic performance, as does beautiful newcomer Pier Angeli. The Bavarian and Austrian locations, along with the winter weather, lend the film an undeniable authenticity(which almost overcomes some of the plot's sketchier elements). The climax of a mountainous chase between a ringleader (played by German actor Claus Clausen) and US/German military police was in fact filmed in the ruins of Hitler's retreat at Berchtesgaden. Director Andrew Marton made an impressive, entertaining job of this film---recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Every now and then Gene Kelly demonstrated that he didn't need the crutch of hoofing to get by in Hollywood. 1952's THE DEVIL MAKES THREE is a bleak post-war thriller that required Gene Kelly to desist from tap dancing and mugging for the camera. As evidenced in Cross of Lorraine (1943), Black Hand (1950), Inherit The Wind (1960), and even in his film debut For Me and My Gal (1942), Kelly's dramatic acting chops were solid.

Oh, hey, here's a mild SPOILER alert.

"Germany's full of kids; just one big cradle," philosophizes an American officer as he tries to convince our protagonist to play his young German friend for a chump. It's the winter of 1947, and Captain Jeff Eliot (Kelly), a navigation instructor, is in Munich on a fifteen day leave for the holidays. Owing a life debt, he intends to pay his respects to the German family who once gave him sanctuary when he was being hunted by the Nazis. Except that the home he visits is this blasted pile of rubble, the family become the casualties of an air raid. The sole survivor is 18-year-old Wilhelmina Lehrt (Pier Angeli) who was only fifteen when Eliot ran for his life three years before. Eliot used to call her "Willie." They're pals.

Willie has had to fend for herself ever since her parents died. Today she's a hostess at the shady Silhouette nightclub, and when I say "hostess" the wink is implied. Eliot and Willie renew acquaintances, but on a more level playing field. She's not fifteen anymore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Berghof October 14, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I mainly purchased this movie because it was the last film of Hitler's Berghof before the Bavarian government demolished it. The movie is pretty good on it's own merits with the winter scenes of the Berghof a visual bonus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia satisfied. November 10, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this film in 1952 while in my early teens and loved it.Post-war Bavaria and Salzburg in the snow made for a suitably sinister setting and both attractive stars, while not known for their great acting talent , delivered their lines well.(Today the age difference jars a little but Pier Angeli's character was only a young teenager during the war so it is explained.)The black and white seems to help the atmosphere while the story moves at a good pace and is all over in 96 minutes.
I spent some years trying to find a copy of this film and always failed to understand why none was available. Many of us petitioned TCM to release a copy and I was delighted to see that a dvd finally appeared in August 2012.I bought it immediately and was not disappointed.
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