The Queen of Spades (PG)
Thorold Dickinson (91 mins), starring Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell, Ronald Howard
Friday 18 December 2009
This marvellously creepy Gothic romance, based on a short story by Pushkin, was first released in 1949, the work of the British director Thorold Dickinson.
It stars Anton Walbrook as an arrogantly remote Tsarist captain who becomes obsessed with making his fortune. Overhearing a legend about an ancient countess (Edith Evans) who sold her soul in exchange for the secret of winning at cards, the officer insinuates himself with the crone's young companion (Yvonne Mitchell) in an attempt to extract the secret for his own ends. Set in enshrouding gloom and wobbling candlelight, the story develops a morbidly exciting grip thanks to the maniacally superstitious Walbrook and Evans's otherworldly chill – the funeral scene alone will make you jump.
'The Queen of Spades' is released 26 December
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action