Review: ‘The Scoundrel’

The film is something of an audible novel. Beaucoup dialog and much palaver, with a minimum of action. It's a talky, slow exposition for the first three reels or so, all tending to indicate what a rat Anthony Mallare (Noel Coward), publisher, is.

The film is something of an audible novel. Beaucoup dialog and much palaver, with a minimum of action. It’s a talky, slow exposition for the first three reels or so, all tending to indicate what a rat Anthony Mallare (Noel Coward), publisher, is.

When Julie Haydon becomes the latest romantic vis-a-vis, the motivation illustrates the same shabby technique which sends a real romance into the gutter. Coward meets destruction when an equally self-centred, cynical individual (Hope Williams) treats him in kind, and he thus becomes the victim of a NY-Bermuda plane wreck.

Histrionically Coward has his moments, but there are others when most film fans may find it a bit difficult to remain content with just an English accent and a Continental flair of character. The illusion isn’t always wholly there.

1935: Nomination: Best Original Story

The Scoundrel

Production

Paramount. Director Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur; Producer Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur; Screenplay Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur; Camera Lee Garmes; Editor Arthur Ellis; Music George Antheil; Art Director Walter E. Keller

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 75 MIN.

With

Noel Coward Julie Haydon Stanley Ridges Martha Sleeper Hope Williams Ernest Cossart
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