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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 »
Tedious grade B film of Russian femme fatale and the tragedy in her wake.
Adapted from Chekov, this saga describes the machinations of a peasant woman to rise to the top by playing man after man until she gets where she wants to get. Simultaneously playing husband, police official and count against each other, lying, stealing jewelry and conniving her way to a possible title, she finally goes too far and is murdered. It's no mystery to figure out who did it and the tortured soul gets away, but justice and the Hollywood code prevail. With all this at hand, the film fails to be sultry or engaging or even tense - as it should be. The direction is ho-hum and the performances only adequate. The dramatic score using a number of Russian and/or Russian-sounding themes was deservedly nominated for an Oscar, but the rest of the production is just bland. Only for those who are fans of the stars.
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