- 1 hr 44 min
Ruthless is a gripping film noir from 1948, directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and starring Zachary Scott, Louis Hayward, and Diana Lynn. This classic movie tells the story of Horace Vendig (Scott), a ruthless and ambitious man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, even if it means betraying his closest friends and loved ones. The film opens with Vendig, a successful businessman, returning to the small town where he grew up. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about his troubled childhood and how he was torn apart from his best friend, Vic Lambdin (Hayward), and his first love, Martha Burnside (Lynn). As a young man, Vendig was determined to succeed and was willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his ambitions. He uses his charm and charisma to manipulate everyone around him, including his mentor, Buck Mansfield (Sydney Greenstreet), and his business partner, Frederick Bauer (Raymond Burr). Vendig ultimately becomes a wealthy and powerful man, but his success comes at a great cost. Throughout the movie, we see Vendig's true nature revealed, as he constantly schemes and manipulates those around him, even those who trust him. His quest for power and wealth drives him to betray his closest friends and lovers, including Lambdin and Burnside, both of whom suffer greatly as a result of Vendig's actions. As the film progresses, the flashbacks become more intense and revealing, and we learn just how far Vendig will go to achieve his goals. The tension builds to a gripping climax, as Vendig is forced to confront his past and face the consequences of his actions. One of the most powerful themes of Ruthless is the idea that money and power can corrupt even the best of intentions. The film shows how Vendig's desire for success blinds him to the suffering he causes those around him. He is incapable of true love and is only able to form relationships based on manipulation and control. The performances in Ruthless are exceptional, particularly Zachary Scott's portrayal of Vendig. He gives a nuanced and compelling performance, truly capturing the character's ambition and ruthless nature. Louis Hayward is equally impressive as Vendig's long-suffering best friend, Lambdin, while Diana Lynn brings a great deal of heart to her role as Vendig's lost love, Burnside. In addition to the acting, the cinematography and direction in Ruthless are also top-notch. The flashback sequences are masterfully woven into the narrative, providing a compelling look at Vendig's troubled past. The film also uses shadows and darkness to great effect, heightening the tension and sense of danger. Overall, Ruthless is a classic film noir that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. It shows that even the most ambitious and driven people can be led astray by power and greed. With its compelling story and exceptional performances, Ruthless is a must-see for fans of classic cinema.