IMDb > Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
Death of a Scoundrel
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Death of a Scoundrel (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Death of a Scoundrel -- George Sanders stars with beautiful Yvonne de Carlo and Zsa Zsa Gabor in this torrid drama loosely based on the life and mysterious death of Serge Rubenstein.

Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   490 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Charles Martin (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Death of a Scoundrel on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 October 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
WOMEN...He finds them...loves them...leaves them...on his million dollar march to self destruction! See more »
Plot:
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Why We Watch Hollywood Movies See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

George Sanders ... Clementi Sabourin

Yvonne De Carlo ... Bridget Kelly

Zsa Zsa Gabor ... Mrs. Ryan

Victor Jory ... Leonard Wilson

Nancy Gates ... Stephanie North

Coleen Gray ... Mrs. Edith Van Renasslear

John Hoyt ... Mr. O'Hara

Lisa Ferraday ... Zina Monte

Tom Conway ... Gerry Monte aka Sabourin

Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Sabourin - Clementi's mother

Werner Klemperer ... 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

Morris Ankrum ... Capt. LaFarge - Homicide Squad
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Baynes Barron ... Detective (uncredited)
Richard Bartell ... Coroner (uncredited)
Raikin Ben-Ari ... French Police Prefect (uncredited)

Marjorie Bennett ... Angry Woman (uncredited)

George Brent ... O'Connell - Party Guest (uncredited)

Steve Carruthers ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Restaurant Waiter (uncredited)
Stanley Clements ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
James Craven ... Detective (uncredited)
Gil Frye ... Freundlich's Assistant (uncredited)

James Gonzalez ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Tom Greenway ... Stock Market Watcher in Montage (uncredited)

Kenner G. Kemp ... Backstage Well-Wisher (uncredited)
Jewell Lain ... Nurse (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Doctor Treating Clement (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Mike - Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Bob Morgan ... Chuck Kelly (uncredited)
Leo Mostovoy ... Headwaiter (uncredited)

Forbes Murray ... Backstage Well-Wisher (uncredited)

Barry Norton ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Anne O'Neal ... Stock Market Watcher in Montage (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... Mr. Claypool (uncredited)

Cosmo Sardo ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Limousine Driver (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... Passenger Departing Plane (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Onlooker at Kelly's Death (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Passenger at Dock (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Willie - Bartender (uncredited)
Guy Way ... Stock Market Watcher (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Martin 
 
Writing credits
Charles Martin (written by)

Produced by
J. Herbert Klein .... associate producer
Charles Martin .... producer
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (director of photography)
 
Art Direction by
Rudi Feld 
 
Set Decoration by
Ross Dowd 
 
Costume Design by
Waldo (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Olga Collings .... hair stylist
Carlie Taylor .... makeup artist (as Karlie Taylor)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Fox .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
John K. Kean .... sound (as John Kean)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Arrico .... wardrobe man
Rosamonde Prior .... wardrobe woman
 
Editorial Department
Conrad A. Nervig .... supervising editor (as Conrad Nervig)
 
Music Department
Murray Cutter .... orchestrations
 
Other crew
Irwin Berger .... technical advisor
Pat Miller .... script supervisor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
119 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1957) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #17961)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Loosely based on the mysterious death of Serge Rubinstein, a Russian-born financial wizard and stock manipulator who was found murdered in his New York apartment in 1955. The murder remains unsolved.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At the beginning of the movie, Clementi visits his brother at his shop. At the door Clementi says, "Aren't you going to let me in?". The brother turns and leads the way. In the next shot, it shows the brother backing up to let Clementi in.See more »
Quotes:
Clementi Sabourin:I have the lobster flown in from Maine and the onions from Bermuda.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Worth Winning (1989)See more »

FAQ

What well-known actress is uncredited in this film?
See more »
36 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
Why We Watch Hollywood Movies, 8 December 2002
Author: mackjay from Out there in the dark

A fine example of casting and performances triumphing over material, "Death of a Scoundrel" is both ridiculous and remarkably compelling. The film's plot is basically a potboiler: we watch a highly unscrupulous man engineer his own rise from poverty to riches, while destroying or dominating everyone around him along the way. To say the least, the narrative is laden with absurd coincidences and unbelievable motivations.

So, why is "Death of a Scoundrel" so watchable? One reason is writer-director Charles Martin's ability to keep things moving at a good pace.

The other reason is the cast. George Sanders was the kind of actor who could take charge of a role (much the way his character takes charge of his own fate). He is able to overcome being too old and not attractive enough for his character. Sanders' famous British voice should work against the image of a Czech immigrant (although the actor was actually born in Russia). In fact, viewers are treated to a vocal doppelganger early in the film, when the role of Sanders' brother is given to his real-life brother (and sound-alike) Tom Conway.

Then there are the rest. Who can resist a high stakes soap opera with the likes of Yvonne De Carlo, Coleen Gray, John Hoyt, Victor Jory, Werner Klemperer, Nancy Gates and last but not least, Zsa Zsa Gabor?

Not always impressive as an actress, De Carlo does a fine job here. She is particularly good at revealing reaction shots. Each time Sanders announces an outrageous new scheme, we can see De Carlo mentally rolling her eyes. The wry delivery she had mastered by the time she will play 'Lily Munster' is fully in evidence. She seems to be having fun along the way, despite the angst and one especially silly revelation late in the film.

Coleen Gray is here given another one-note role. The stunning actress was allowed few opportunities to show she could act. Nancy Gates gets to play out a pocket-size version of "A Star is Born". And John Hoyt has a supporting role with plenty of surprises.

As for Zsa Zsa Gabor, she rarely looked more elegant and luminous. The recently ex-Mrs. Sanders was at the start of her career peak. Only two years later, she would embody the immortal 'Talleah' in "Queen of Outer Space". Despite limited acting skills, Gabor manages a couple of memorable Hungarian-accented line deliveries ("Be careful, I'm might bite you!").

While the production values of the film show a less-than-optimal budget, apparently no expense was spared on Max Steiner. The composer provides one of his continuous symphonic scores. Every scene is played out on a lush, late-romantic, sonic cushion. De Carlo's character even has her own 'sexy' theme. It's all wonderfully overdone and preposterous: an adventure into a never-never land of greed and control-obsession.

In other words, it's a riveting example of why we watch Hollywood movies.

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