The Queen of Spades (1949 film)
|The Queen of Spades|
|Directed by||Thorold Dickinson|
|Produced by||Anatole de Grunwald|
|Written by||Alexander Pushkin (story)
|Edited by||Hazel Wilkinson|
De Grunwald Productions for Associated British Picture Corporation
|Distributed by||Associated British-Pathe (UK)
Republic Pictures (US)
|Box office||£107,250 (UK)|
The Queen of Spades is a 1949 fantasy-horror film based on a short story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. It stars Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans and Yvonne Mitchell. Although Evans and Mitchell were both experienced stage actors, this was their cinematic debut.
Captain Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) is a Russian soldier in St Petersburg in 1806. He comes from a working class background, and is consequently spurned by his wealthier fellow officers. Suvorin begins gambling, playing the card game Faro. He is told of an aged countess (Edith Evans), who allegedly sold her soul to the devil in exchange for success in playing Faro. Suvorin seduces her ward (Yvonne Mitchell) as part of a plan to learn the countess's secret of success.
- Anton Walbrook as Captain Herman Suvorin
- Edith Evans as Countess Ranevskaya
- Yvonne Mitchell as Lizavetta Ivanova
- Ronald Howard as Andrei
- Mary Jerrold as Old Varvarushka
- Anthony Dawson as Fyodor
- Miles Malleson as Tchybukin
- Michael Medwin as Hovaisky
- Athene Seyler as Princess Ivashin
- Ivor Barnard as Bookseller
- Aubrey Mallalieu as Fedya
- Maroussia Dimitrevitch as Gypsy singer
- Violette Elvin as Gypsy dancer
- Pauline Tennant as young Countess Ranevskaya
The story was adapted from a short story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, with a script written by Arthur Boys and Rodney Ackland. The original director of the film left the project after suffering from poor health, and was replaced by Thorold Dickinson, who also rewrote sections of the script.
Release and reception
Wes Anderson ranked it as the sixth best British film. Martin Scorsese has described Thorold Dickinson as an underrated director, saying of The Queen of Spades that "this stunning film is one of the few true classics of supernatural cinema."
- Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p489
- "The Queen of Spades (1949)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "Tale of luckless director dealt bad hand". The Herald. 24 December 2009.
- "Festival de Cannes: The Queen of Spades". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
- "100 Best British Films: Directors". timeout.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
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