Written by / 3/20/2021 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

WILLIAM SYLVESTER DIGS INTO 'OFFBEAT' AKA 'THE DEVIL INSIDE'

William Sylvester in OFFBEAT Year: 1961 Rating: ***1/2

There was a reason American actor William Sylvester was available for an American director who filmed and lived in England, where both he and Stanley Kubrick ala 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY literally felt right at home: And OFFBEAT/THE DEVIL INSIDE provides the usually cool/collected William Sylvester real edge and intensity: starting out in dark sunglasses while robbing a bank... then meeting with fellow cops for whom he's a resilient, somewhat roguish undercover agent.

Taking place during one heist... a tunnel job on a quiet city street... the mission's to infiltrate a syndicate of criminals yet this particular den harbors pool-playing, working-class types so crooked they're almost normal, including by-the-numbers leader Anthony Dawson and affable John Meillon, who, along with muscle-thugs Neil McCarthy and Harry Baird, pose as construction workers. But the gang's token ingenue Mai Zetterling really stands out... she's pretty, experienced and tough despite falling too hard too fast for our anti-hero, constantly dogged by his stubborn Scotland Yard boss... which, as he and we learn, could be for understandable reasons, and, directed by veteran Cliff Owen, who'd soon make his best heist thriller with A PRIZE OF ARMS, this is Sylvester's best role, juggling a kind of criminal/cop ambiguity like only Noir can.

Mai Zetterling and William Sylvester in OFFBEAT
Mai Zetterling and William Sylvester in OFFBEAT
John Meillon in OFFBEAT aka THE DEVIL INSIDE
Neil McCarthy and William Sylvester pool out in OFFBEAT
William Sylvester in OFFBEAT aka THE DEVIL INSIDE
William Sylvester in OFFBEAT
William Sylvester in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
An OFFBEAT William Sylvester robs a bank blind for THE DEVIL INSIDE
William Sylvester robbing the bank blind in OFFBEAT
John Meillon in OFFBEAT aka THE DEVIL INSIDE with William Sylvester
John Meillon in OFFBEAT aka THE DEVIL INSIDE with Anthony Dawson
John Meillon in OFFBEAT with William Sylvester and Mai Zetterling
John Meillon in THE DEVIL INSIDE with Anthony Dawson and William Sylvester
THE DEVIL INSIDE with William Sylvester
John Meillon in THE DEVIL INSIDE
Mai Zetterling in THE DEVIL INSIDE with William Sylvester
John Philips in THE DEVIL INSIDE with William Sylvester
John Meillon in OFFBEAT aka THE DEVIL INSIDE with Harry Baird

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