The Queen of Spades will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Kino Lorber Studio Classics on October 15, 2019. The 1949 film is based on Alexander Pushkin’s short story of the same name. It has been restored in high definition by BFI and StudioCanal. Special features are:
- Audio commentary by film critic Nick Pinkerton
- Introduction by Martin Scorsese
- Analysis by film critic/author Philip Horne
- 1951 Interview with director Thorold Dickinson at the British Federation of Film Societies
- 1968 screening introduction by Thorold Dickinson
- Theatrical trailer
Here is our previous coverage of the film:
The Queen of Spades is a 1949 British fantasy-horror feature film directed by Thorold Dickinson based on a short story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. It stars Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans and Yvonne Mitchell. Although Evans and Mitchell were both experienced stage actors this was their cinematic debut. It was produced by Ealing Studios.
An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards. An army officer, who is also a fanatic about cards, murders her for the secret, then finds himself haunted by the woman’s spirit…
“Although the film’s look is striking, mention must also be made of the innovative use of sound to ramp up the tension once the hauntings begin […] Deliciously dark and still able to make audiences jump 60 years after it was created, this is a black-and-white gem that truly deserves to be hailed as a ‘lost classic’.” Amber Wilkinson Eye For Film.
“All filmmaking elements work to create a fantastical Russia of snow-swept landscapes, gothic bedrooms and bawdy gypsy taverns. The ghostly visitations are almost an afterthought, with a plot that is also of secondary importance that only half-heartedly offers us the stock characters and situations of commercial filmmaking.” Shaun Anderson, The Celluloid Highway