The Queen of Spades

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama, Horror
Director(s): Thorold Dickinson
Production: HBO Video
  Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

For heaven's sake, don't play the Queen of spades.

She's unlucky.

What's the matter?

They're all unlucky for me tonight.

But you can back any spade.

My win.

Your win.

My win.

Your win.

My win.

Your win.


The unlucky card!

What a fool to risk the Queen.

You win.

Good night, Andrei Andreiovich.

Thank you.

Don't go, Petrov. Don't leave us.

I think I'll be getting to bed.

Have a glass of wine first.

All my year's pay is gone.

Oh, never mind.

You'll have another year's pay in another year's time.

Petrov, I challenge you.

I challenge you to one more hand.

Fyodor, no, no. It's getting too late.

Gentlemen, let's drink.

There's food on the side tables. Help yourselves.

I want to go on playing.

I don't care if I lose every kopek.

Who'll play for double stakes?

Sit down. We'll have another hand later.

No need to scare. Leave me alone.

Hey, why doesn't he play?

Yes, you , sir. Standing here every night

like a French spy watching us.

Haven't the engineers quarters of their own?

Don't listen to him, German.

It's only the wine talking.

I want an answer to my question.

Stop it, Fyodor !

Captain Suvorin is here as my guest.

He has every right not to play, if he doesn't care to.

Well, I beg your pardon.

But tell me this, sir.

If you're so interested as to come here

night after night,

Why do you never touch a card?

Tell us !

Yes, I've often wondered how he can resist playing.

Are you trying to work out a system ?

Pray, it interests me very much.

But I cannot afford to risk unnecessarily the hopes

of winning the Super Cross.


Bravo !

Bravo !

I'll show them all one day.

Why does German Suvarin come here every night ?

Yes, why ?

He never plays cards. He's the sort of man who'd be afraid

to stake anything unless he was sure of winning.

Can anyone be sure of winning ?


What was that you were telling us

about your old grandmother, Fyodor ?

The Countess Ravenskaya?

She's a wonderful old woman.

Is it true she's over a hundred ?

Are you speaking of old Countess Ravenskaya ?

Why? Do you know her?

No, but I soon shall.

My aunt is going to persuade her to ask General Volkoninov

to make me his aide-de-camp.

Oh, really?

My aunt swears she's the most grotesque

creature you ever saw.

With a high powdered wig like they used to wear

fifty years ago.

And a quilling to match.

I believe she's a witch.


That's absolute rubbish.

But it is true that the old countess

had the secret of how to win at cards.

It's certainly true though that on one occasion she won

an immense amount of money.

By selling her soul to the devil.

For a secret like that I'd sell mine.

The secret of how to win at cards?

Get to bed! Drunkard!

Yes, sir.

Shut the stove.

Good night, sir.

Get out !

Good night, your honor.

I'm sorry about Fyodor Pavelvich's behavior tonight.


I came to apologize.

Thank you.

You seemed less put out by it than I was.

Perhaps you prefer me not to come

to your card parties.

Oh, no, of course not. Why should I?

I mean...

I may embarrass you.

You see, I'm only a poor captain in engineers.

You are rich aristocrats.

Guard officers.

I think you're exaggerating things a bit.

You see, poor old Fyodor was..

Well, he was well in his cups and...

German, why not come back?

Don't you like listening to the gypsies?


Why not call them what they are?

Don't be quite so hard on them, German.

What chance have they born in such circumstances?

You never blame anyone, do you?

No, not if I can help it.

I believe all human beings are fundamentally good.

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Rodney Ackland

Rodney Ackland (18 May 1908 in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex – 6 December 1991 in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey) was an English playwright, actor, theatre director and screenwriter. Born as Norman Ackland Bernstein in Southend, Essex, to a Jewish father from Warsaw and a non-Jewish mother, he was educated at Balham Grammar School in London. In his 16th year he made his first stage appearance at the Gate Theatre Studio, playing Medvedieff in Gorky's The Lower Depths and later studied acting at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art. He married Mab Lonsdale, daughter of the playwright Frederick Lonsdale, in 1952; she died in 1972. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Queen of Spades" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Apr. 2021. <>.

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