Showing posts from June, 2017

What is the ultimate George Sanders movie?

The screen persona that made George Sanders (1906-1972) one of the unique presences of Hollywood not only during its heyday in the 1930s and '40s but well through the '60s is usually tied to the word "cad," even to including it in the title of his autobiography MEMOIRS OF A PROFESSIONAL CAD (1960). A somewhat outdated term today given that most people have a coarser turn of phrase for the characters he played, Sanders specialized in playing suave yet ruthless individuals who thought nothing of using seduction, fraud and knife-in-the-back tactics to get ahead.

The movies, and later on, television shows in which he appeared as an urbane villain or anti-hero usually had him paying for his crimes, given the moral standards of the time. But the ease at which he brought such characters to life appears to have been inspired by and carried over from his personal life, in which he could be alternately charming, witty and thoughtful, then insulting and repulsive because he used…