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Before hiring Rowland Leigh, director Douglas Sirk had asked James M. Cain to write the film, but he fired Cain and junked his script because Cain had made the characters seem too American. See more »
In the present day, Count Volsky tells Nadena Kalenin that he remembers how she was "just a little girl" seven years ago. However, the main events of the story take place seven years earlier, when Nadena was a fully grown woman. 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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