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Ruthless (film)

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Director  Edgar G. Ulmer
Music director  Werner Janssen
Language  English
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Film-Noir
Cinematography  Bert Glennon
Country  United States
Ruthless (film) movie poster
Release date  April 16, 1948 (1948-04-16) (United States)
Based on  the novel Prelude to Night  by Dayton Stoddart
Writer  Dayton Stoddart (novel), S.K. Lauren (screenplay), Gordon Kahn (screenplay), Alvah Bessie (screenplay)
Cast  Zachary Scott (Horace Woodruff 'Woody' Vendig), Louis Hayward (Vic Lambdin), Diana Lynn (Martha Burnside / Mallory Flagg), Sydney Greenstreet (Buck Mansfield), Lucille Bremer (Christa Mansfield), Martha Vickers (Susan Duane)
Similar movies  The Big Sleep, The Asphalt Jungle, Double Indemnity, The Third Man, The Night of the Hunter, Detour
Tagline  Power ... Money - were his gods!

Ruthless is a 1948 American film noir drama film directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and starring Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet and Louis Hayward.


Ruthless (film) movie scenes

Ruthless 1948 part 1


Ruthless (film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters107p107pv

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 neighbors 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.


  • Zachary Scott as Horace Vendig
  • Louis Hayward as Vic Lambdin
  • Diana Lynn as Martha / Mallory
  • Sydney Greenstreet as Mansfield
  • Lucille Bremer as Christa Mansfield
  • Martha Vickers as Susan Duane
  • Dennis Hoey as Mr. Burnside
  • Edith Barrett as Mrs. Burnside
  • Raymond Burr as Peter Vendig
  • Critical response

    When the film was released, the staff at Variety magazine panned the film, writing, "Despite a sextet of name players, Ruthless is a victim of cliched and outmoded direction and of weary dialog to which no actor could do justice. Performances are handicapped by the direction of Edgar G. Ulmer. Adaptation from the Dayton Stoddart novel, Prelude to Night, is involved and confusing. Plot’s denouement is also telegraphed long before the finale. Hayward contribs a fair interpretation of Scott’s associate, who eventually breaks from him. Diana Lynn, in a dual role, is wistful and appealing as a pawn in Scott’s affections. Sydney Greenstreet, cast as a utilities magnate who’s ousted by Scott, tends to overact."

    More recently, film critic Glenn Erickson gave the film a positive review, writing, "Financed as a one-shot project by an agent-turned producer, Ruthless plays its quietly subversive theme right out to the bitter end. It has excellent performances by a cast of not-quite big stars, some of them recently relieved of studio contracts. Its main player is the biggest surprise: Zachary Scott gives the performance of his career ... Ruthless is the Edgar G. Ulmer picture that shows him operating with a decent set of cinematic Tinkertoys, and he does very well indeed."


    Ruthless (film) Wikipedia
    Ruthless (film) IMDb Ruthless (film)