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Shout at the Devil

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter R. Hunt
Produced by Michael Klinger
Written by Story:
Wilbur Smith
Stanley Price
Alastair Reid
Starring Lee Marvin
Roger Moore
Music by Maurice Jarre
Cinematography Michael Reed
Editing by Michael J. Duthie
Distributed by American International Pictures
Hemdale Film Distributors Ltd.
Release date(s) May 20, 1976
November 20, 1976
Running time 147 minutes (UK)
128 minutes (US)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $7,000,000

Shout at the Devil (1976) is a British film directed by Peter R. Hunt.[1]

The picture is an comedic adventure story set in Zanzibar in 1913 based on a novel written by Wilbur Smith and is very loosely inspired by real events.



It tells the story of Colonel Flynn O'Flynn (Lee Marvin) a hard drinking American, his daughter Rosa (Barbara Parkins), and an outcast English aristocrat Sebastian (Roger Moore) who falls in love with her. They are married and have a daughter together.

The two men set out to get rich in German-controlled pre- World War I Tanganyika. Herman Fleischer, German Commander of Southern Province, relentlessly hunts O'Flynn. Fleischer has a battleship ram and sink O'Flynn's African Dolm (ship) containing poached ivory. Later whilst attacking O'Flynn's home, the soldiers under Fleischer's command take the life of Sebastian's daughter Maria.

During their hunt to kill Fleischer, for the death of the daughter, it's discovered that England and America are at war with Germany. Allied operatives convince O'Flynn to locate and destroy the German battleship awaiting repair. O'Flynn, Sebastian, and Rosa pursue Fleischer, who happens to be on the battleship.

O'Flynn is a master manipulator and con man pursuing financial gain. He gets everyone, except Rosa, to follow his lead throughout the movie; his one weakness is gin. The film is filled with fist fights, shooting, and assorted violence. There are a few tender moments during Sebastian and Rosa's romance.



The film was shot in Malta and South Africa.

In the film the battleship portrayed is SMS Blücher which did not serve in Africa. The story is loosely based on events involving the cruiser SMS Königsberg which was sunk after taking refuge in Rufigi delta in 1915.

Critical reception

Critic Richard Eder did not like the film much. He wrote, "The movie has too much plot. All that action, conducted by characters without character—except for Fleischer, whose childlike joy in hurting people is almost appealing — produces lethargy...the movie is a passable midget in absurdly long pants."[2]

Roger Ebert thought that "Shout at the Devil is a big, dumb, silly movie that's impossible to dislike. It's so cheerfully corny, so willing to involve its heroes in every possible predicament, that after a while we relax: This is the kind of movie they used to make, back when audiences were supposed to have the mentality of a 12-year-old. It's great to be 12 again."[3]


  1. ^ Shout at the Devil at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ Eder, Richard. The New York Times,film review, "Shout Whispers on Screen", November 25, 1976.
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger Chicago Sun-Times, film review, November 11, 1976. Last accessed: December 31, 2007.

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