V’18: OCTOBER 25 – NOVEMBER 8, 2018

WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL

V' 11

THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL

Ranald MacDougall
USA, 1958
Fiction, 95min, OF

THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL

Ranald MacDougall
USA, 1958
Fiction, 95min, OF

Actors: 
Harry Belafonte
Ralph Burton
Inger Stevens
Sarah Crandall
Mel Ferrer
Ben Thacker
Screenplay: 
Ranald MacDougall nach der Erzählung «The Purple Cloud» von Matthew Phipps Shiel sowie «End of the World» von Ferdinand Reyher
Sound: 
Franklin Milton
Camera: 
Harold J. Marzorati
Editor: 
Harold F. Kress
Composer: 
Miklós Rózsa
Decoration: 
William A. Horning
Paul Groesse
Costume: 
Kitty Mager

Production: 
Sol C. Siegel Production HarBel Productions
Format: 
35 mm
Black/White

Ralph, a black miner in Pennsylvania, gets trapped in a cave-in. When he eventually digs himself out of the rubble and escapes the mine, he discovers he is totally alone. He journeys to New York City which to all appearances is completely deserted. In time, he learns that he is not alone but the two other survivors he meets – first, a woman and then, a man – generate more problems than good will. The first half of the film is genuinely haunting and memorable. Beautifully photographed in black and white Cinemascope, the scenes of Belafonte wandering the streets of a deserted New York City, dwarfed by skyscrapers, convey a sense of overpowering isolation and loneliness. Belafonte is also at his best in solo scenes where he sets up his apartment in the city, figuring out a way to rig electrical lines and populating his pad with mannequins for company. Other images linger as well; Belafonte shadow-boxing on a nighttime street and an amusing sequence where he performs a guitar ballad as he admires his electric train set. (Jeff Stafford)

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