IMDb > The Queen of Spades (1949)
The Queen of Spades
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The Queen of Spades (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.4/10   744 votes »
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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Rodney Ackland (writer) and
Arthur Boys (writer) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Queen of Spades on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 June 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(11 articles)
EC backs Berlinale, Rotterdam funds
 (From ScreenDaily. 18 June 2014, 4:17 AM, PDT)

Love & Engineering to open Visions du Réel
 (From ScreenDaily. 23 April 2014, 3:50 AM, PDT)

Gaslight
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 14 December 2013, 4:07 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
The Strange Secrets of the Count de Saint Germain. See more (24 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Anton Walbrook ... Capt. Herman Suvorin

Edith Evans ... The Old Countess Ranevskaya
Yvonne Mitchell ... Lizaveta Ivanova
Ronald Howard ... Andrei
Mary Jerrold ... Old Varvarushka

Anthony Dawson ... Fyodor
Miles Malleson ... Tchybukin
Michael Medwin ... Hovaisky
Athene Seyler ... Princess Ivashin
Ivor Barnard ... Bookseller
Maroussia Dimitrevitch ... Gypsy singer
Violetta Elvin ... Gypsy dancer
Pauline Tennant ... Young countess
Jacqueline Clarke ... Milliner's assistant
Josef Ramart ... Countess' lover (as Yusef Ramart)
Valentine Dyall ... St. Germain's messenger
Gordon Begg ... Gen. Volcholnikov
Gibb McLaughlin ... Bird seller
Drusilla Wills ... Countess' old servant
Aubrey Mallalieu ... Fedya
George Woodbridge ... Vassili
Pauline Jameson ... Anyutka
Hay Petrie ... Herman's servant

Brown Derby ... The Countess' footman
Geoffrey Dunn ... Hairdresser
Ian Colin ... Officer in the gaming room
Clement McCallin ... Officer in the gaming room
John Howard ... Officer in the gaming room
Aubrey Woods ... Officer in the gaming room
David Paltenghi ... Officer in the gaming room
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Helen Christie ... Young Countess (voice)
Leonard Boucher ... Officer in the Gaming Room (uncredited)
Elwyn Brook-Jones ... Officer in the Gaming Room (uncredited)
Denis Carey ... Dancer (uncredited)
Joan Miller ... Woman in Bookshop (uncredited)
Michael Ward ... Officer in the Gaming Room (uncredited)

Directed by
Thorold Dickinson 
 
Writing credits
Rodney Ackland (writer) and
Arthur Boys (writer)

Alexander Pushkin (short story "The Queen of Spades")

Produced by
Jack Clayton .... associate producer
Anatole de Grunwald .... producer
 
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
 
Cinematography by
Otto Heller 
 
Film Editing by
Hazel Wilkinson 
 
Casting by
Robert Lennard (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
William Kellner 
 
Costume Design by
Oliver Messel 
 
Makeup Department
Frank Cross .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Isobel Pargiter .... production manager
 
Art Department
Scott Slimon .... fabric designs (as Scot Slimon)
Philip Stockford .... set dresser
Ken Adam .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Bill Beavis .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
F. McNally .... sound recordist (as Frank McNally)
Len Shilton .... dubbing recordist (as L. H. Shilton)
Audrey Bennett .... dubbing editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gus Drisse .... camera operator
Val Stewart .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Babs Gray .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Marjorie Owens .... continuity
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:95 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ken Adam: Designing Bond (2000) (V)See more »

FAQ

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
The Strange Secrets of the Count de Saint Germain., 12 May 2012
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

The Queen of Spades is directed by Thorold Dickinson and adapted to screenplay by Rodney Ackland and Arthur Boys from the story written by Alexander Pushkin. It stars Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell and Ronald Howard. Music is scored by Georges Auric and cinematography by Otto Heller.

A Tale of Old St. Petersbvrg.

"In 1806 the craze for gambling had spread throughout Russia. Faro-a simple card game similar to our snap-was all the fashion, and fortunes were won and lost on the turn of a card. As a result there arose many superstitions concerning the cards-one of these was the evil influence of THE QVEEN OF SPADES."

The dead shall give up their secrets.

Haunting, poetic, lyrical, romantic and visually arresting, Thorold Dickinson's take on the Pushkin story is a magnificent picture of many wonders. It's a film that (thankfully) is hard to pigeon hole, it's very unique, a uniqueness that marks it out as an oddity of sorts, ensuring it has stayed as a cult classic rather than a mainstream one. However, now widely available on DVD (the Optimum Region 2 issue is a spankingly fine transfer), and with Martin Scorsese lending his weight to the film's greatness, it's hoped that more people will get to see and embrace this masterpiece.

Dickinson (Gaslight) was only brought in at the last minute, literally days before the picture went into production. Armed with only a tiny budget and confined to the stages of Welwyn Studios, the director gave a lesson in classic film making. The story is a more than solid source to work from, Walbrook's Tsarist Captain Suvorin aspires to gain wealth by learning Countess Ranevskaya's (Evans) secret to wining at the card game Faro. Working from a book he located about people making deals with the Devil, Suvorin worms his way into the affections of the Countess' ward, Lizaveta Ivanova (Mitchell), so as to get close to the aged and fragile Countess and put the squeeze on the old dear. He is obsessed and oblivious to the feelings of others and ignorant to the age old adage about being careful about what you wish for.....

Filmed in subtle black and white by Otto Heller (They Made Me A Fugitive), film is big on shadows, odd camera angles, clinical sound work and haunting imagery. Atmosphere is everything in a film like this, and this has it in abundance, even during the more exuberant passages, such as the gaiety of a dance, there's a disquiet hanging in the air, William Kellner's brilliantly baroque sets observers of impending doom. A number of images burn into the soul, a spider climbing its web, a doused candle and the eerie sight of distorted figurines in glass jars, these are just some of the shots worthy of inspection. Mirrors, too, play a prominent part in proceedings, hauntingly so, while many of the characters have an other worldly sheen to them.

3, 7 & Ace.

Mostly the film is highly thought of by those that have seen it, what negative reviews I have come across appear to be written by horror fans unhappy with not getting the horror film suggested by tag words such as ghost and the Devil. For the first hour it's pretty much about characterisations, psychological make ups and back story, it's not until the hour mark when things start moving towards the spooky. But this film is not horror, as mentioned earlier, it's hard to pigeon hole it for it covers a number of bases. It's more in line with Rebecca and either of the Gaslight movies, an opulent period piece with supernatural overtones, while the visual style of it is very much like The Spiral Staircase. If you like those movies? Then it's pretty nailed on that this is the movie for you. Cast are terrific, Walbrook (Gaslight/The Red Shoes) is intense and maniacal, Evans (The Importance of Being Earnest) is oddly scary but pitiful, Mitchell is beautiful but perfectly staid and Howard (son of Leslie) is straight backed and gentleman like.

From the opening credits that are off kilter written on scratchy looking paper, accompanied by Auric's blunderbuss music score, to the "devilment" of the denouement, this is a classic Ealing film for true classic film fans. 10/10

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