Because the Stanislavsky method of playing bridge has no rules, it promotes marital harmony for those who stick with it.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Erwin Gelsey), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Peter Stanislavsky
...
Marcia Stanislavsky
...
Philip 'Speed' McCann
...
Blondie
Helen Vinson ...
Lola Starr
...
Contest Radio Announcer
Ferdinand Gottschalk ...
Cedric Van Dorn
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Storyline

After waiter and would-be novelist Peter Stanislavsky marries Marcia, he learns to play bridge to satisfy his wife, despite feeling that it is a childish game. Her friends all play the game avidly, but argue often about the proper play. He's called one evening to serve as a waiter at a bridge party given by Lola Starr, but is asked to be a fourth for one of the bridge tables, where eminent bridge expert Cedric Van Dorn is seated. Peter trounces the expert, and when asked what method he uses to play, he jokingly says the "Stanislavsky method," which has no rules of bidding or play. It makes headlines; Speed McCann ghostwrites a best-selling book for him; a national tour is set up with Marcia as his partner; and his method sweeps the country. But slowly Peter begins to question Marcia's play, leading to arguments because it is a violation of the only rule in his system. And when he gives private lessons to Lola, Marcia leaves him thinking there is something between them. With his ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 March 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il giocatore  »

Box Office

Budget:

$164,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Peter Stanislavsky: [Slams phone down] This is my night off!
Marcia Stanislavsky: What is it, darling?
Peter Stanislavsky: Oh, I must go again tonight. 270 Park Avenue. Another stupid party, I suppose.
Marcia Stanislavsky: Oh well, it means a 10 dollar tip, anyway.
Peter Stanislavsky: Yes, but my book, I never finish it.
Marcia Stanislavsky: I'll meet you on the corner of 48th and 5th at 11.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits begin with bridge being played in the background. Then, close ups of cards are shown with a picture of one of the actor, his name, and the role he plays in the movie. See more »

Soundtracks

Du gamla, Du fria
(uncredited)
(Swedish National Anthem)
Music traditional
Played before the bridge match
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User Reviews

 
Genial satire of American celebrity manufacture
31 July 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Paul Lukas played a Russian intellectual making his living as a waiter in

"Grand Slam," directed by William Dieterle (1933). It is a surprisingly funny satire of the building up of celebrity. The waiter and the Russian restaurant's hat-check girl played by Loretta Young become America's sweethearts as bridge partners who do no squabble. With the aid of publicist and ghost-writer 'Speed' McCann (the wonderfully deadpan Frank McHugh) they become walking advertisements

for the "Stanislavsky system," a "system" of bidding whatever one feels like

(since bids are not rational, there is no basis for recriminations about their stupidity).

A duel with displaced bridge guru Cedric Van Dorn (sounds close to Goren, no? and I suspect the choice of the character's name "Stanislavsky" was also a slam at another kind of system), a puffed-up charlatan played very well by Ferdinand Gottschalk, is broadcast on radio stations across America like a prize-fight by Roscoe Karns (another great fast-talking deadpan comic actor of the 1930s).

The bridge players are even in a roped-off square, though the audience is

above them, unlike in boxing "rings."

The wide variety of American types prefigures the comedies of Preston Sturges, though for manufacturing celebrity, "Grand Slam" most calls to mind two better movies from the same (pre-Code) era with Lee Tracy playing fast-talking

publicists: "The Half-Naked Truth" and "Bombshell," but "Grand Slam" has its

moments, especially for anyone who has played bridge with serious point

counters.

Loretta Young was already a clothes horse. (To me, her face seems a bit long

and horsey, too. Another era's notion of beauty, I guess...) The movie

unfortunately all but drops Glenda Farrell, who plays McHugh's forgetful

girlfriend.


2 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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