6.9/10
459
18 user 6 critic

Death of a Scoundrel (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 31 October 1956 (USA)
When Clementi Suborin is found murdered, his secretary recounts to the police the story of his rise from Czech refugee to ultra-rich New Yorker. The tale of betrayal, womanising and fraud ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $14.99 on Amazon Video

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Frances Dee
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An expose of the lives and loves of Madison Avenue working girls and their higher ups.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker
Compulsion (1959)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two wealthy law-school students go on trial for murder in this version of the Leopold-Loeb case.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, Diane Varsi
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A former intelligence officer is tasked by the heir to the Gleneyre estate to investigate the unusual deaths of a disparate group of eleven men on a list.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of a café singer who buys a gambling casino and the men who fall in love with her.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: Yvonne De Carlo, Howard Duff, Zachary Scott
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Writer Harry Street reflects on his life as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of Mount Kilamanjaro.

Directors: Henry King, Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner
Men in War (1957)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Korean War, a battle worn Lt. and his platoon behind enemy lines, have orders to march to hill 465 for possible relief.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Robert Keith
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A beguiling international jewel thief loses her heart.

Director: Edwin H. Knopf
Stars: Greer Garson, Michael Wilding, Fernando Lamas
Conflict (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An engineer trapped in an unhappy marriage murders his wife in the hope of marrying her younger sister.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith, Sydney Greenstreet
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman
The Power (1968)
Thriller | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

One by one members of a special project team are being killed by telekinesis - the ability to move things with the power of the mind alone. The race is to determine which of the remaining team members is the murderer and to stop them.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: George Hamilton, Suzanne Pleshette, Richard Carlson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A beautiful British intelligence agent attempts to reveal the identity and motives of a powerful German spy during World War 1.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Constance Bennett, Erich von Stroheim, Anthony Bushell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bridget Kelly
...
Mrs. Ryan
...
Leonard Wilson
...
Stephanie North
...
Mrs. Edith Van Renasslear
...
Mr. O'Hara
...
Zina Monte
...
Gerry Monte aka Sabourin
...
Mrs. Sabourin (Clementi's mother)
...
Herbert Bauman (Clementi's lawyer)
Justice Watson ...
Henry (Clementi's butler)
John Sutton ...
The Actor as 'Tom' in Stage Play
Curtis Cooksey ...
Oswald Van Renassalear
Gabriel Curtiz ...
Max Freundlich
Edit

Storyline

When Clementi Suborin is found murdered, his secretary recounts to the police the story of his rise from Czech refugee to ultra-rich New Yorker. The tale of betrayal, womanising and fraud confirms that almost everyone who knew him wanted him dead. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Men, Women... he used them, ruined them on his fantastic march to self-destruction

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diary of a Scoundrel  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

George Sanders (Clementi Sabourin) was the ex-husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor (Mrs. Ryan). They were married from 1949 to 1954. He was later married to her elder sister Magda Gabor from 1970 to 1971. See more »

Goofs

When Clementi gets a letter from his mother he breaks the seal then hands the letter to Kelly then asks her to read it. She then breaks the seal again to open it and then reads the letter. See more »

Quotes

Clementi Sabourin: I always say, if you're going to steal at all, steal in a way that will be admired.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Worth Winning (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"I can't believe it - I told a lie and it turned out to be the truth!"
18 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

Zsa Zsa Gabor (a recent ex-Mrs. Sanders at the time of filming) is stunningly beautiful and delightful in her role. Lovely Colleen Gray doesn't have a large part, but she shines when on screen. The exotic DeCarlo brings an earthiness and sarcasm as Bridget Kelly, who, though rough around the edges, is in love with Clementi and loyal to him.

Sanders is a marvel - always likable no matter how heinous his character, always smooth, and always watchable. If he's a little too old for Clementi, it doesn't matter. He still makes it work. I don't think this would have been as good a movie with Brent in the lead. A year before his suicide, Sanders appeared in an episode of "Mission: Impossible" and played an elderly con man - magnificently dressed, proud, and elegant. When he is defeated, the character turns into a tired old man in a matter of seconds. That is true acting, and there aren't many that can do it. Sanders could.

Don't let the black and white and the low budget fool you. "Death of a Scoundrel" is well worth viewing.


27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
WHY AN UNBILLED STANLEY CLEMENTS? BG43214
Sabourin vs. Rubenstein alecwest
Anybody know where to get a copy? noircrime
Nitpicking gearhart
Discuss Death of a Scoundrel (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?