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 ...
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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
According to a contemporary article in the Los Angeles Examiner, Lana Turner was to star in this film. See more »
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 »
Even when he adapts Dostoievski,Robert Siodmak's fondness for film noir can be felt.In the first scene,when Fedor meets Pauline ,how not to think of that scene in "the killers" when Swede sees Kitty for the first time?In both films ,Ava Gardner is the femme fatale.Ditto for the last scene in the pawn shop where you can see the reflections of the crosses on the ceiling.
Fedor's motive is first love ,but little by little,he realizes he is actually in love with gambling,with the numbers.His desire for an "8 " is almost sexual;in the hotel,every number (the key number, etc) calls him to the casino.The depiction of the place where people are feverishly waiting for the stopping of the roulette is absolutely extraordinary.Gregory Peck gives a riveting performance as the gambler down on his luck,and Ava Gardner's beauty shines all along the film.The supporting cast is up to scratch: Melvyn Douglas is like a puppeteer (the scene when he pretends he can't find Ostrovsky's notes belongs to him); Frank Morgan as a fallen mathematic teacher and Agnes Moorehead as the owner of a seedy pawn shop make all their scenes count.Ethel Barrymore is so talented an actress she does not need any words (except "banco" ) to express her gambling fever.
Like this ?try these.....
"Le Joueur" Claude Autant-Lara 1958 another Dostoievski adaptation,inferior to Siodmak's version.
"lo scopone scientifico" Luigi Comencini 1972
"La dame de Pique" Leonard Keigel 1965
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