thatcow

"The most hated man on Earth"

A clever Czech expatriate (with a British accent) comes to the US and swindles his way into money and power. The trail of broken people he leaves is quite astounding. Such is the life of the Scoundrel of the title.

Clementi Sabourin is played by George Sanders as a wonderfully smamry and immoral fellow. He flits from scheme to scheme like a hummingbird in search of nectar.

While it's a delight to see each scheme unfold, I find a little something lacking in the feelings and reactions of those that surround Sabourin. Some of the actors, such as Zsa Zsa Gabor, appear outclassed by Sanders. Yet, the problem to me seems to be in the script. These people are manipulated entirely too easily, bending more to the writer's will than to Sabourin's. The script desires most to tell us about this one person, and the others are largely incidental.

Despite the tunnel vision, Sabourin is a wonderful character study. The last half hour gets better, and actually lets some characters have their own space - just in time for Sabourin's tailspin. It's a bit too little, too late to save the overall film.

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