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Wednesday December 12th 2018

Beat The Devil | 1953

Beat The Devil filming location: Terrace Of Infinity, Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy
Beat The Devil filming location: the villa's terrace: Terrace Of Infinity, Villa Cimbrone, Ravello, Italy | Photograph: wikimedia / Mihael Grmek

Campy, culty spy spoof – or, as plain-speaking Humphrey Bogart put it, “Only the phonies liked it.”

It was filmed in the small medieval town of Ravello, high on a mountainside about four miles above Amalfi, south of Naples, in Campania, Italy.

The ill assorted bunch of shady characters sit around bars in the Piazza Duomo.

The villa of Billy Dannreuther (Bogart) is the Villa Cimbrone. The terrace decorated with marble busts, to which he takes Gwendolen Chelm (Jennifer Jones), is the Terrace of Infinity, the villa’s famous Belvedere overlooking the Amalfi coast – “the most beautiful view in the world” according to writer Gore Vidal, who took up residence in Ravello.

The villa, which is now a hotel, dates from before the 11th century, and has included DH Lawrence and Greta Garbo – who famously conducted an affair with conductor Leopold Stokowski here – among its guests. And for trivia buffs, the clapper-boy on the movie was composer and lyricist-to-be Stephen Sondheim.

The Villa's terrace crops up again as the sun-drenched seafront of 'Themyscira' in Patty Jenkins's 2017 Wonder Woman.