The Devil Makes Three

  • 1952
  • 1 HR 29 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

A nonsinging, nondancing Gene Kelly has never been a popular item with the public, despite the fact that he was believable in whatever he did. In this, Kelly is an American Army captain who is returning to Germany to spend Christmas with a family that saved his life during the war. Once in Munich, he discovers that they died during an American air raid...read more

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A nonsinging, nondancing Gene Kelly has never been a popular item with the public, despite the fact that he was believable in whatever he did. In this, Kelly is an American Army captain who is returning to Germany to spend Christmas with a family that saved his life during the war. Once

in Munich, he discovers that they died during an American air raid and the only surviving member of the family is Angeli. She's now working as a shill, cadging drinks at a sleazy nightclub. Kelly visits her and finds a bitter person who hates Americans and is generally cynical about life. Yet

Kelly falls in love with the moody young woman and this is noted by several of the peripheral characters who frequent the club. One of them is Clausen, who appears to be an epicene singer-comic, but is, in reality, a Nazi who is part of a ring that is smuggling gold in order to finance another

rise to power. Kelly learns of this and tells Army intelligence. He is ordered to continue his affair with Angeli and to further investigate the Nazi plot. His boss is Richard Rober, and Richard Egan is assigned to be Kelly's partner. Kelly pretends to be part of the smuggling ring, which is, on

the surface, just a small group bringing black market items across to Austria. He attempts to find out how the gold is being moved, but has difficulty learning the truth. Angeli is beginning to care for Kelly, but she retains her hatred for Americans in general. She hates Nazis even more, though,

and Kelly realizes that she is not party to the Nazi scheme, but is, in fact, a dupe. Kelly finally learns how the Nazis are moving the gold when he finds that the fenders of the car he drives are twenty-four karat! Before he can inform the authorities, he and Angeli are captured by the bad guys

and sentenced to death. Their execution is to take place during a motorcycle race on a frozen lake. The villain is revealed to be Clausen and a chase begins with Kelly after Clausen. The denouement takes place at the Adlerhorst, Hitler's aerie at Berchtesgaden, and Kelly finally catches up with

Clausen as the rat stands at the picture window of the famed headquarters. The stunts were spectacular; director Marton would later be responsible for second unit direction for such famous events as the battles in THE LONGEST DAY and CLEOPATRA as well as the chariot race in BEN-HUR. The reasons

for making this movie went far beyond the script. MGM had frozen funds in Europe that it could not remove but could use to make movies. Kelly was able to stay in Europe for almost two years and pay no income tax. He agreed to do this film and CREST OF THE WAVE in return for MGM allowing him to

make his brilliant INVITATION TO THE DANCE. Angeli, the twin sister of actress Marisa Pavan, died of an overdose of barbiturates at the age of 39 after a troubled marriage to singer Vic Damone and a great difficulty adjusting to the rigors of stardom.

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  • Rating: NR
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