Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, three movies which show in stark detail how to be a cad, courtesy of George Sanders. We have wine pairings for each, of course.
Cads don’t really come much caddier than in the 1956 film, Death of a Scoundrel. The story was based on the life of financial criminal Serge Rubinstein – who was killed in 1955. One glance at the list of his transgressions and it’s a wonder someone didn’t knock him off sooner. Stock manipulation and embezzlement are the least caddiest parts of his personality. His dalliances with women were just as shady.
Death of a Scoundrel was one of a pair of films in which Sanders got to work with his real-life brother Tom Conway, who was a dead ringer in the familial resemblance department. He also got to work with Yvonne De Carlo and Zsa Zsa Gabor, with whom he shares no lookalike qualities. He was, however, divorced in real life from Zsa Zsa just a couple years before.
Bell Wine Cellars of Yountville, California offers a wine which seems tailor-made for this film – The Scoundrel. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, with splashes of Cab Franc and Merlot. There is no explanation on why the name was chosen, but there it is on the label, in a wine-colored script font. The company says they cannot ship to Louisiana. Maybe they figure they have enough scoundrels there.
Green Hell was set in the jungle, at least it was Universal’s idea of a jungle in 1940. They built it on a sound stage at great expense, then used it again in The Mummy’s Hand. Sanders plays alongside a great cast – Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Vincent Price, Joan Bennett, Alan Hale and others. Many of those in the cast couldn’t talk about Green Hell in later years without laughing. Price said it was five bad movies rolled into one.
A band of treasure hunters are joined in the jungle by a beautiful woman. How’d she get there? She took a left at Albakoyky. It turns out that her husband was in the group of explorers, but he was killed by angry natives just before she got there. She becomes the new treasure, as it were, sort of.
If there were a wine named Jungle Jungle, it would be perfect for this film. There is. It comes from the wilds of South Australia, a multi-national blend of Dolcetto and Nero d’Avola from Clare Valley and Touriga Nacional grapes from Langhorne Creek. The wine should take the edge off of the movie’s shortcomings.
1960’s Village of the Damned issued posters warning theater patrons to “beware the stare,” and woe came to those who didn’t heed that advice. A town full of kids are all born on the same day, telepathic kids with evil eyes, after the whole town falls asleep and the women wake up pregnant. Sanders is one of the lucky fathers, although how the women all got pregnant is a mystery. He is left with one of the hardest decisions a dad has to make – whether to raise your demon spawn as your own or set off a homicidal and suicidal bomb to destroy him and all his so-called friends.
Damned Mountain wine hails from New Zealand’s Marlborough region, one of the great places for Sauvignon Blanc. Will it protect you from “the stare?” Probably not, but it’s worth a try.
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