Queen of Spades out in Cinemas Boxing Day and DVD January
With Special Introduction by Martin Scorsese
available to buy on dvd january 18th 2010
Optimum Releasing is proud to present a special digital re-issue of Thorold Dickinson's classic supernatural drama THE QUEEN OF SPADES, not seen in British cinemas since its original release in 1949, and also available in 2010 for the first time on DVD (alongside Dickinson classics: Secret People & High Command).
THE QUEEN OF SPADES is truly a lost gem of British cinema from much admired director Thorold Dickinson (Gaslight,). The film will open on Boxing Day at key London sites as well as regional art-houses across the country, in association with the ICO.
It is 1806, Imperial Russia, and St Petersburg is in the grip of gambling fever. No card strikes more fear in to the hearts of the soldiers than the evil Queen of Spades. Captain Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) is a lowly German engineer: an outsider obsessed with making his fortune whose peculiar manner isolates him from the revelries of the other bawdy soldiers. He is intrigued, though, by soldiers' gossip that tells of the legend of an ancient Countess (Dame Edith Evans), who supposedly sold her soul to the devil years before in exchange for the secret of success at the card game de jour: Faro.
When he stumbles across a strange and rare book that seems to confirm the story, Suvorin sets about a dastardly plan in order to extract the old lady's secret for himself. Worming his way into the household by paying false court to the Countess' lonely ward Lizaveta (Yvonne Mitchell), Suvorin discovers a secret door to the palace that leads directly into the Countess' chambers. On the night of a ball that the Countess and Lizaveta attend, he enters the palace and waits in the shadows for the Countess, determined to learn her secret before another bitter winter's day breaks…
THE QUEEN OF SPADES is a wonderfully evocative and sinister drama, made by one of the most underrated of British directors: Thorold Dickinson, who throughout his career refused to compromise his artistic integrity in the face of commercial pressures. Based on a short story by Alexander Pushkin, the film boasts memorable performances by Anton Walbrook (The Red Shoes) as the soldier driven insane by his lust for success and fortune and Dame Edith Evans (Tom Jones, Scrooge) as the bitter and twisted old Countess who gave away her soul for a short-lived salvation.
Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese is one of the film's most vociferous supporters and he has kindly recording a brief introduction to the film that will be seen by audiences before each screening of the film during its theatrical run.
With your feet tired from traipsing through the sales, Christmas is no better time to discover this true classic of British cinema for the first time.
THE QUEEN OF SPADES
Directed by Thorold Dickinson
Starring Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans,
Yvonne Mitchell & Michael Medwin
Certificate: PG Running time: 91 minutes
(& 1 minute intro by Martin Scorsese)
Released In Cinemas Nationwide
by Optimum Releasing & The ICO
on Saturday 26th December 2009
The Queen of Spades & Secret People
will be released on DVD on January 18th
& High Command will follow later in 2010