queen-of-spades-oct-7thThorold Dickinson creates a gothic and supernatural atmosphere in this adaptation of a short story by Russian poet Aleksander Pushkin. A young and impoverished army captain (Anton Walbrook) hopes to make his fortune by finding the secret of the success at the card table of the ageing Countess (Edith Evans); however, dark forces gather. “a masterpiece” – Martin Scorsese. (Cert PG)
Dir: Thorold Dickinson 91 mins UK 1949
to be shown with
THE COAT Artists’ Cinema
Dir: Keren Cytter (Cert PG) 5 mins Ger. 2010





“Great melodrama!”

“Wonderful – you could have heard a rouble drop!”

“Wonderfully melodramatic and engaging”

“Superb melodrama – heavy handed but the real thing. It didn’t take much to influence Lizaveta!”

“Great melodrama, with lovely use of lighting for the horror scenes. The main lead [Walbrook] got better and better in his descent into greed!”

“Marvellous performances from Anton Walbrook and Edith Evans”

“Stunning performances!”

“Wonderful photography. Dialogue surprisingly stilted but film much enjoyed!”

“I never want to see another colour film! Sheer voluptuousness! I’ll kill anyone who complains of the lack of realism.”

“A foundation for every subsequent thriller. Did Hitchcock read the book?”

“Ace! No but I mean [it] seriously. I was clear about everything except why he lost but there you [go] – [he] should’ve played more snap!”

“Excellent, intriguing from the start, [with some] terrific acting. Nothing like as horrific as I expected, so I’m not sure to which scenes Martin Scorsese was referring.”

“Has lasted well and is still a vibrant film”

“Very impressive, especially the soundtrack”

“Certainly a visually stunning horror, although the dated theatricalities did make some of the dialogue comically camp.”

“Am I too sophisticated?”

“Acting has much improved in the last 60+ years but it’s good to realise that such efforts in mise-en-scene and sheer wealth of detail of [the] sets and ‘business’ [were made] in those days.”

“Very atmospheric and well directed. A rarely seen film and a bit of a minor classic.”

“Good story and build-up of tension. Very atmospheric.”

“The exact opposite of The Coat – a clear and methodical narration of a good story, if a trifle laboured and slow for modern tastes. ‘Would make a good short story’ – attrib. Alexander Pushkin.”

“Edith Evans – wonderful but Anton Walbrook, no, no! Basically, the novella is too slender to bear this heavy [handed] treatment.”

“Ultimate Gothic – some excellent scenes but [a] very slow and ponderous [re-]telling of a classic moral tale.”

“Overdone and too drawn out in places but still enjoyable.”

“Good period film but not to my taste”

“For the most part, slow, disconnected and turgid – gypsy dancing [the] best part. Thanks for black and white photography.”

“The Four Feathers was a good send-up of its genre [but] QoS was simply a poor example of a very poor genre. It had no redeeming features. Why??”

“More amusing than scary – give me Dorian Gray any day!”

“Not bad, considering. Almost believable.”

“Too much of its time to re-tell now!”

“A story that started in the middle and worked outwards?”


“The Luftwaffe was [just] as entertaining.”

“[The countess] a spooky Miss Haversham? [Should he have] graduated to On-line Poker?”


“Very challenging – but striking visual imagery”

“Challenging narrative. I enjoyed the rhythmic dialogue, with [the] change of scenes.”

“This certainly was an imaginative cocktail of editing, motion-graphics and dialogue to create a confrontational scene over Sudoko and a love interest.”

“9 4 3 7 1 5 8 2 6 – need I say more?”

“Visually enjoyable – and, in a short [film], that’s probably [as much as you can say].”

“Visually interesting – full stop!”

“Needlessly confusing!”

“Well above my head”

“Entertaining for sure but very difficult to understand”

“Incomprehensible on [just] one viewing”

“I don’t think I am clever enough [for this].”

“I’m blowed if I know.”

“Interesting if you forgot the search for meaning!”

“Didn’t understand it!”

“What was that all about?”

“No idea …”

“Why??? What??? No!!!”

“What on earth was that all about? Self indulgent and shapeless.”

“The worst kind of self-indulgent student obscurantism. Let’s face it – terrible!”

“Not worth the time [spent watching it].”


“Thank God it was short!”


A:14, B:21, C:12, D:6, E:1 to give 69%