7.4/10
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27 user 19 critic

The Queen of Spades (1949)

An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards. An army officer, who is also a fanatic about cards, murders her for the ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ronald Howard ...
Mary Jerrold ...
...
Fyodor
Miles Malleson ...
Tchybukin
Michael Medwin ...
Hovaisky
Athene Seyler ...
Princess Ivashin
Ivor Barnard ...
Bookseller
Maroussia Dimitrevitch ...
Gypsy singer
Violetta Elvin ...
Gypsy dancer
Pauline Tennant ...
Jacqueline Clarke ...
Milliner's assistant
Josef Ramart ...
Countess' lover (as Yusef Ramart)
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Storyline

An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards. An army officer, who is also a fanatic about cards, murders her for the secret, then finds himself haunted by the woman's spirit. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama | Horror

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dama de Espadas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thorold Dickinson joined the production at the personal request of Anton Walbrook. Dickinson read the original Alexander Pushkin story on a Tuesday, read the script on a Wednesday and was in the studio by Saturday. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits, rather than simply reading "Screenplay By", "Music By", "Director of Photography", etc., as in most films, read "The Screenplay By", "The Music By", "The Director of Photography", "The Art Director", etc. See more »

Connections

Version of Pique Dame (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Win
11 March 2007 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

I've seen this now probably 10 times or more over the decades – it's an out and out genuine British film classic, and still only Thorold Dickinson and Anton Walbrook's second best to Gaslight made 10 years before. The stories themselves had similarities, Walbrook in both playing an avaricious amoral character using a weak-willed woman to meet his own despicable ends. The production values in both were high lending a richly dark and brooding b&w atmosphere on nitrate film stock to compliment the inventive camera-work.

Relatively poor Captain in the Royal Engineers jealous of the wealthy Cavalry officers around him dreams of making his fortune at faro, and eventually gets his way at the price of his precious soul. How he does it is a spooky tale involving an ancient irritating Countess played by the perfect Edith Evans and his attempt to get her to acquiesce to his demands. Who can forget the funeral scene when Walbrook is wondering how the dead can give up their secrets! Everyone acted their hearts out, Ronald Howard nicely restrained to Walbrook's occasional lapses into melodrama. Auric's music is spot on and as graceful as ever, we even get a preview of Orpheus in here to which he composed the music for the following year. The game of faro as depicted here always struck me as particularly boring, but I suppose it was as good a way as any for someone to lose money fast. The secret of winning money at cards is not to play for money at all and to keep your money. I simply can't understand why anyone would watch this for the full 90 minutes hating almost every minute and then waste more of their time telling us!

An utterly marvellous film, a UK post-War Wonder which will survive all comments positive and negative.


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