Ruthless (1948) 1080p

Movie Poster
Ruthless (1948) 1080p bluray - Movie Poster
Drama | Film-Noir
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
104 min
IMDB Rating:
6.9 / 10 
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Directors: Edgar G. Ulmer [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by richer neighbours he started to exhibit an obsessive and selfish urge to make more and more money, loving and leaving women at will to further this end.


  • Ruthless (1948) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Ruthless (1948) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Ruthless (1948) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Not as hard-boiled as the title suggests

Loosely considered a film noir, this plot is barely gray and does not have much mystery or drama. It is however, mildly entertaining.

The story opens with a young actor (Hayward), playing an unconvincingly aged version of Vic, who used to be best pal with Horace (Scott) allegedly many years previously.

Horace is nowadays a mega rich guy who invited lots of people to his mansion to - sort of - making amends for his ruthless ways of the past.

The narrative works mainly in flashbacks during the party, showing how Vic and Horace were friends and how Vic grew disenchanted with his greedy friend (and later associate) and parted ways.

The first scenes may be slightly reminiscent of Citizen Kane, without the artsy pretentiousness (but also the superior skills of Welles).

Not much happens in terms of drama, once the philandering, greedy nature of Horace has been established. Horace just continues being an unredeemable character to the end.

Still, worth watching, also for the rather unexpected lavish production.

I don't want to be a man. Never! I wish there weren't any men in the whole world.

Ruthless is directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and adapted to screenplay by S.K. Lauren, Gordon Kahn and Alvah Bessie from Dayton Stoddart's novel Prelude to Night. It stars Zachary Scott, Louis Hayward, Sydney Greenstreet, Diana Lynn, Lucille Bremer and Martha Vickers. Music is by Werner Jansen and cinematography by Bert Glennon.

Even as a boy Horace Vendig always got what he wanted. Then into adulthood and he manipulates himself into high society. Now a fully fledged tyro of commerce he is even more cruel and impervious to how his actions harm others. But when Horace (Scott) reunites with his old best friend Vic Lambdin (Hayward) and he falls a foul of the bitter Buck Mansfield (Greenstreet), all the resentments come crashing together as one!

"Animals kill for food or love. You and I spoil the jungle because we kill for profit, a taste of victory and revenge. Then we destroy each other after"

It was a one time hard to locate picture, where even in early releases it had been shorn of 25 minutes, but now it's out there, a full one hour and forty four minutes of Ruthlessness! Ok, that might be over selling it a touch, but this is a pretty spicy piece of greedy film noir, a scathing attack on capitalism, a telling of the corruption of a man's soul and the bitter treatment he hands out to those who care for him.

Tagged as a sort of baby brother to Citizen Kane, which is fair enough in fact, but that be in narrative drive more than visual panache. There's some nice expressionistic touches, with Glennon (Crime Wave) proving what a very talented cinematographer he was (see his Westerns output), but the pic does lack for noirish visual menace to marry up with the sour lead characterisation. Which is a crime given it's Ulmer (The Black Cat/Bluebeard/Detour/Strange Illusion) in the directors chair.

However, where the pic shines bright is with the performances, Ulmer getting his cast to turn in impressive portrayals of the human condition. The ladies are especially great (Lynn has a dual role) as they nail the respective heartbeats of women buffeted by Horace's duality of twisted emotions and lofty avarice ambitions. In short we get very mature turns in a film that's very much mature in thematics. Add it to your Ulmer "to see lists" post haste. 7.5/10

Edgar G. Ulmer an underrated director deserves a second chance !!!

I've really appreciated Edgar G. Ulmer's works, he was totally underrated director, apart Ruthless that has a big budge, he always works on tight budge even in Detour which l'm quite sure his best picture, indeed, Ruthless has a fine treatment, the story has a non-linearity concept, about a boy who was neglected by his parents, adopted by a good family and raise very closed with their half sister who falling in love for him, his nature is ambiguous and he forgetting all the past, he climbed to upper class high society just for a unique purpose, becomes rich and get power, even left behind many damages around and his best friends, a greedy man, played by the magnificent Zachary Scott, but everything has a price to pay, he faces his destiny, an splendid Noir, Edgar G. Ulmer is best knowledge by your B Science fiction pictures, he deserves to be reviewed by the new generation of cinephiles!!


First watch: 2012 / How many: 2 / Source: DVD / Rating: 8.25
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