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(aka "Diary of a Scoundrel" or "Loves of a Scoundrel" or "The Loves and Death of a Scoundrel")

 

directed by Charles Martin
USA 1956

 

George Sanders is the scoundrel in "Death of a Scoundrel," a 1956 film that, though it appears to be a low-budget, boasts a fine cast: Yvonne DeCarlo, Colleen Gray, Nancy Gates, Victor Jory, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Supposedly the story is based on the antics and ultimate murder of Serge Rubinstein that hit the news around the time the film was made. The lead role was originally given to George Brent, but the actor became ill and couldn't do the role. Because the party scene had already been filmed, he can be spotted there.

In the beginning of the movie, Sanders, who plays Clementi Sabourni, is lying dead. One of his business associates tells his story to the police. It begins in Czechoslovakia when Sabourni, believed to have died in a concentration camp, appears at the shop of his brother (played by Sanders' real-life brother, Tom Conway). He wants money and his girl - except there's no money and his brother has married his girl. Furious, Sabourni turns his brother over to the Communist police for being involved in black marketeering and selling stolen goods. In return, he gains his passage to America. His brother is killed resisting arrest. When Sabourni arrives in New York, he spots a woman (DeCarlo) stealing a wallet. Clementi picks her up and steals the wallet from her. But her husband chases him in an effort to retrieve it, and Clementi is shot. The husband is hit by a truck when Clementi pushes him into the street. While Clementi is being treated for his bullet wound, he learns of the marvels of a new drug, penicillin. Using a check that was in the wallet, he buys stock in the company. Thus his career begins.

The film is fascinating, in part because of the deals in which Clementi masterminds, and all of the women he juggles as a result. He becomes involved with a wealthy widow (Gabor) while flirting with her aspiring actress secretary (Gates), and trying to convince the wife (Gray) of a successful businessman to divorce her husband so that he can get her stock and take over her husband's company. His schemes grow more outrageous until his brother's widow - who is also his ex-girlfriend - appears.

Excerpt of review from blanche-2 at imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 31 October 1956 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:59:36
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.72 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: October 18th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 40

 

Comments

RKO has already paired George Sanders and Tom Conway in The Falcon's Brother where George Sanders passed on his Falcon reigns to Tom, who continued with the series. By the time Death of a Scoundrel came around, George Sanders has already won an Oscar for All About Eve, so for a cameo in the film they cast his less famous real-life brother. Clementi Sabourin is a role Sanders was born to play - a smooth operator with plenty of beautiful women around him, who rises to fame and wealth only to find the hard way the price for all of it.

The made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive is marked as restored and the dual-layered disc can attest to it. The progressive, anamorphically enhanced transfer is good quality with very little damage on the print. The contrast is good, but there is excessive grain on the print that is thankfully not intrusive. Unfortunately, a trailer is not included with this release.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menu
 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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