my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Death of a Scoundrel
Director:   Charles Martin
Year:   1956
Genre:   Noir
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   07.11.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- How To Seduce A Woman

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
07.11.06Friend's House I guess this is a pretty forgotten movie and that's a real shame. George Sanders is in it and it's shot by James Wong Howe with a Max Steiner score and released through RKO so it's like a real movie... I'd put it in the same bin as The Bad and the Beautiful, Sunset Blvd., and Sweet Smell of Success. Basically, George Sanders, playing the titular scoundrel, is the biggest most corrupting negative force of an asshole bastard ever put on screen... until he repents at the end to meet censor board standards. Anyone that comes into contact with him ends up with his life absolutely ruined and it's awesome. As the movie starts, Sanders plays this Chezch dude just returning from a Nazi prison camp to find that his brother, thinking him dead, spent all his money and married his wife/widow/whatever. Then, in a moment of weakness, Sanders informs on his brother's ill-gotten wealth in order to secure papers to America. He's kind of emotionally stricken and pretty heavy handed and I'm thinking Sanders is really miscast in this role.

But then he gets to NYC, engages in witty double-entendre'd banter with a girl who he's seen steal this guy's wallet... they go up to her room, he puts on the moves, she goes to change clothes and get this. Sanders steals the guy's wallet back and runs out of the apartment. Some guy chases after him, shoots him in the back, they fight, the guy gets run over by a truck and dies. While he's getting stitched up he hears about this miracle drug called penicillin, stakes a stolen bad check to buy shares, and strikes it rich the next day.

For the next hour and a half or so, the movie moves at that kind of pace, taking us along for the ride as Sanders cons, manipulates, cheats, and steals his way to a massive fortune... Sanders is cast pitch-perfect in this role... it's really the personification of every arrogant British vibe he throws out as an actor... and he is so evil! He pimps women out, frauds millions of people, and at one point gets furiously angry when his intended con, inflating a bad oil well's stock by leaking rumors that it had struck oil, proves to be true... Damn, I can't cheat people out of money today and ruin lives! shit!

This really is a very enjoyable movie... practically every line from Sanders' mouth is hilariously evil... a decent supporting cast, well-shot, a huge booming score... I liked it a lot.
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