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The Queen of Spades

The Queen of Spades

Blu ray

Kino Lorber

1949/ 1.33:1 / 95 min.

Starring Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans

Directed by Throld Dickinson

One of the pleasures of discovering 1949’s The Queen of Spades is also discovering its director, Thorold Dickinson. Born and educated in Bristol, he abandoned Oxford for London to concentrate on the fine art of film editing and soon found himself behind the camera.

Dickinson made waves with 1940’s Gaslight but Queen was something of a critical flashpoint for the diligent director – called in as a last minute replacement, the project would cement his reputation as an artist whose portentous visual style said as much about his characters as any screenplay. Not coincidentally, those qualities were shared by the film’s associate producer, Jack Clayton.

Based on Alexander Pushkin’s 1834 short story, the film is set in a snowbound St. Petersburg enclave in 1803, a gothic inversion of one of Ernst Lubitsch‘s fairy tale villages.

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