Irish Film Institute -THE QUEEN OF SPADES



95 mins, UK, 1949, 4K Digital, Black & White

This strange, beautiful film is based on a short story of the supernatural by Alexander Pushkin and represents a highpoint in the career of its director, Thorold Dickinson (Gaslight, 1940). Captain Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook, star of a number of Powell and Pressburger films) is an officer in the Russian army. Although keen to improve his social and financial station, he resists joining in the gambling common amongst other officers that serves to bolster camaraderie and help curry favour, fearful of losing what little he has. Hearing odd rumours of the gambling ability of an ageing countess (Edith Evans), reportedly come by through a deal with the devil, Herman determines to seek her out, and to make the same bargain in return for a better life. However, as he learns, such arrangements usually come with unforeseen consequences…

Notes by Kevin Coyne

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