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The Great Sinner (1949)

Approved | | Drama | 29 June 1949 (USA)
A young writer goes to Wiesbaden to write about gambling and gamblers, only to ultimately become a compulsive gambler himself. Losing all his wealth, as well as his moral fibre, he commits ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

Ladislas Fodor (screenplay), Christopher Isherwood (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Fedja
Ava Gardner ... Pauline Ostrovsky
Melvyn Douglas ... Armand de Glasse
Walter Huston ... General Ostrovsky
Ethel Barrymore ... Grandmother Ostrovsky
Frank Morgan ... Aristide Pitard
Agnes Moorehead ... Emma Getzel
Friedrich von Ledebur ... Casino Secretary (as Frederick Ledebur)
Ludwig Donath ... Doctor
Curt Bois ... Jeweler / Money Lender
Ludwig Stössel ... Hotel Manager
Ernö Verebes ... Hotel Valet (as Erno Verebes)
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Storyline

A young writer goes to Wiesbaden to write about gambling and gamblers, only to ultimately become a compulsive gambler himself. Losing all his wealth, as well as his moral fibre, he commits the ultimate degradation of robbing a church poor box in order to feed his compulsion. Written by <homeport@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Gambled His Life on Her Love! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gamblers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,075,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the 1866 short novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. See more »

Goofs

On numerous occasions during the long Roulette game when the "No more bets" call is made, the wheel is shown to be turning pretty slowly; yet immediately afterwards as the ball is getting ready to drop into the slot, the wheel is suddenly turning much more rapidly. See more »

Quotes

Fedja: This is an unexpected pleasure. I was just worrying about your soul.
Pauline Ostrovsky: Oh... I haven't any. Couldn't you tell?
Fedja: No. That was my mistake, I suppose.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Man Who Broke The Bank At Wiesbaden
6 April 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

As Kirk Douglas's career was progressing nicely he had a choice of two different offers. He could play the title role in The Great Sinner, a big MGM film with a supporting cast of name players with Ava Gardner as a leading lady. Or he could do a small independent film for Stanley Kramer who was just starting out. Douglas chose the small film and wound up with an Oscar nomination for Champion.

Which left Gregory Peck who was apparently a second choice to play the Russian writer who stops off at the gambling resort of Wiesbaden in the 1860s just before German unification. He's on his way to Paris, but one sight of Ava Gardner getting off at Wiesbaden, makes Peck decide to abruptly change his plans.

As for Ava, certainly one can understand that she's beautiful enough to let one's hormones take over, but I got the feeling Ava just wasn't into the part really, as Greg was also not. It's also hard to believe that Walter Huston had won an Oscar for his previous film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. To overcome a trite story, Huston overacts outrageously, pulling everything out of a ham's bag of tricks.

Even Melvyn Douglas as the scheming casino owner takes his nineteenth century villainy from the Snidely Whiplash tradition. Agnes Moorehead as the old crone of a pawnbroker also indulges in some scenery chewing, her best example of that since Dark Passage.

Best in the film in my humble opinion is Frank Morgan as the former mathematics professor and now addicted gambler. He brings a real aura of tragedy to his small role.

The Great Sinner is a sluggishly paced film with a lot of very talented people just going through the motions. For a gambling story, I'll take Casino.

Don't believe me, Wanna bet?


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