Devil Makes Three, The (1952): Andrew Marton’s Post-WWII Thriller, Starring Gene Kelly, Pier Angeli and Richard Egan

One of Gene Kelly’s lesser known and less commercial efforts, The Devil Makes Three is a thriller set in post-World War II Germany, starring him, Pier Angeli and Richard Egan.

The Devil Makes Three
Poster of The Devil Makes Three(film).jpg

Our Grade: C+ (** out of *****)

Former Eighth Air Force bomber crewman Captain Jeff Eliot returns to Germany in 1947 to visit the family who rescued and hid him from the Nazis after his plane was shot down over Munich.

He learns that most of the family was killed by an American air raid, and that the only survivor is the daughter, Wilhelmina Lehrt (Angeli), who works as a hostess in a nightclub.

While romancing “Willie,” befriends the club’s comedian, Heismann who, it turns out has secret ties to underground Nazi revivalist movement. Eliot informs his superiors, who order him to continue his relationship with Willie to learn more about the group.

In the climax, which takes place in Berchtesgaden, Heisemann is chased through the rubble (shot inside the ruins of Hitler’s house).

In the final, rather symbolic frame, Heismann faces his captors in the huge picture window of the house.

The film was not popular at the box office, but it did not tarnish Kelly’s stature, who in the same year made the smash musical hit, Singin’ in the Rain.

Cast
Gene Kelly as Captain Jeff Eliot
Pier Angeli as Wilhelmina “Willie” Lehrt
Richard Rober as Colonel James Terry
Richard Egan as Captain Parker
Claus Clausen as Heisemann
Margot Hielscher: Bar Singer
Ruth Megary: Waitress

Credits:

Directed by Andrew Marton
Produced by Richard Goldstone
Written by Lawrence P. Bachmann, Jerry Davis
Music by Rudolph G. Kopp
Cinematography Václav Vích
Edited by Ben Lewis
Distributed by Loew’s
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release date: September 19, 1952

Running time: 96 minutes