This was not the first time director Karoly Makk made successful use of a distinguished elderly actress. In his 1971 "Love" Makk used Lili Darvas, who like Luise Rainer was a star of the Max Reinhardt theater troupe. Also like Rainer, Darvas married a famous playwright, Ferenc Molnar. (Rainer was married for a while to Clifford Odets.) See more »
(at around 32 mins) In the story-within-a-story supposedly being written by Dostoevsky in 1866, a woman says, "Would you like to play canasta, General?" Canasta was not invented until 1939, some 58 years after Dostoevsky's death. See more »
Based on the true events of the writing of The Gambler, Dostoyevsky meets the much younger Anna when she comes to him as stenographer. This is as much a tale of chaste love as it is romantic, and the interweaving of the fiction they scramble to put together in order to keep him out of debt (and avoid losing the rights to all his works, both present and future!) with the elements of their reality is seamless and thoroughly engaging. The incomprable Louis Ranier shows up long enough to lose her fortune at the roulette table -- and the entire movie in three short scenes. I highly recommend this for fans of unconventional love stories and Masterpiece Theater. Those whose tastes run a bit faster may find themselves bored by the pacing and lack of flesh (but for Polly Walker's beautiful backside in one spicy scene). All in all, this one was much better than anticipated and I wouldn't mind keeping it in my collection.
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