The Queen of Spades (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Queen of Spades (1949)

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Movie Info

A supernatural tale based on a short story by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, this is the portrayal of a poor Captain in the Russian army in the nineteenth Century. His comrades in arms play cards nightly, but he cannot afford to join them until one night he dreams that he has gained from a mysterious aging countess her secret for winning at faro--a secret which legend has it she has sold her soul to obtain. This story has been filmed at least a dozen times, but this is by far the best version. Eight of the versions were silent films and another version was done as recently as 1965. A period piece, the settings and costumes are superb.

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Cast

Anton Walbrook
as Capt. Herman Suvorin
Edith Evans
as The Old Countess Ranevskaya
Yvonne Mitchell
as Lizaveta Ivanova
Mary Jerrold
as Old Varvarushka
Miles Malleson
as Tschybukin
Michael Medwin
as Ilovaisky
Athene Seyler
as Princess Ivashin
Ivor Barnard
as Bookseller
Violetta Elvin
as Gypsy Dancer
Pauline Tennant
as Young Countess
Jacqueline Clark
as Milliner's Assistant
Yusef Ramart
as Countess's Lover
Gibb McLaughlin
as Birdseller
Valentine Dyall
as St. Germain's Messenger
Gordon Begg
as Gen. Volcholnikov
Drusilla Wills
as Countess' old servant
Hay Petrie
as Herman's servant
Brown Derby
as The Countess' footman
Ian Colin
as Officer in the gaming room
Clement McCallin
as Officer in the gaming room
John Howard (II)
as Officer in the gaming room
Aubrey Woods
as Officer in the gaming room
David Paltenghi
as Officer in the gaming room
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Critic Reviews for The Queen of Spades

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3)

Opulence of Imperial Russia at the beginning of the 19th century provides a colorful background for this filmization of Alexander Pushkin's short story, which brings to the screen a legend of gambling and intrigue.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Wild gypsy dancing, shadow lighting and an excellent musical score are well used for mood creation in this weirdly fascinating film.

May 6, 2008 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Pushkin's marvellously histrionic tale of cupidity and terrible vengeance gets a suitably wild-eyed treatment in Thorold Dickinson's 1949 film.

February 9, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The Queen of Spades, a stylish, polished melodrama based on the Pushkin novella, is [Thorold Dickinson's] most accomplished film.

October 18, 2016 | Full Review…
Observer (UK)

Otto Heller's chiaroscuro cinematography and Oliver Messel's Gothic designs play vital roles in Dickinson's thorough demolition of period genteelness for the horror in it.

October 18, 2016 | Full Review…
CinePassion

The Queen of Spades is a treasured relic of a time when the British cinema momentarily abandoned its good manners and revelled gloriously in visual and emotional excess.

October 18, 2016 | Full Review…
The Arts Desk

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