Douglas Sirk had originally wanted to film Anton Chekhov's 'The Shooting Party' at the German UFA studio before he fled Germany in 1937. He had wanted actor Willy Birgel to play Fedor, and when he made the U.S. version he picked George Sanders because he considered Sanders a similar "type" to Birgel. See more »
Very good despite its rather ordinary rating on IMDb.
This is a film that probably would not have been made or would have been drastically re-worked had it been made earlier or later in history. As the film, at least in part, is based in Soviet Russia and was written by Chekhov (not the "Star Trek" one), it's NOT the sort of film Hollywood would have made in the 1930s or after the Cold War began. But, because the Soviet Union was TEMPORARILY an ally of the United States (due to WWII), Hollywood felt comfortable making films showing modern Russia.
George Sanders plays a judge living in pre-revolutionary Russia. He eventually meets up with a gorgeous peasant girl (Linda Darnell) and he is absolutely smitten with her. However, what he doesn't know is that she turns out to be a heartless...um....lady. Eventually, after throwing away another woman who would have been a great match, he learns that she is NOT a nice lady. She'd used him and was simply a conniver. What happens next, well, I don't want to spoil the film so I'll say no more.
All in all, the biggest star of this film is the very intelligent and interesting script. Also, while Sanders and Darnell (along with Edward Everett Horton) were not big stars, they were all very good actors and more than carried the film--especially Sanders. Well done and worth seeing.
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