Fresh from its run in selected cinemas, the brand new breath-taking 4k restoration of The Queen of Spades, one of the most evocative and sinister British horror films ever made, Thorold Dickinson’s (Gaslight, The Next of Kin) ghostly chiller will be available to own on Blu-ray for the first time and on DVD and Digital on January 23.
Starring Dame Edith Evans (Tom Jones, The Whisperers) in a role that marked her return to cinema following 35 years devoted to theatre work alongside Anton Walbrook (The Red Shoes, Gaslight) and Yvonne Mitchell (The Divided Heart), THE QUEEN OF SPADES is based on a short ghost story by celebrated Russian author Alexander Pushkin, and is considered legendary filmmaker Thorold Dickinson’s most accomplished piece of work. Dickinson was only hired after the original director was fired just a few days before production was due to start, making his achievement even more remarkable.
St. Petersburg, 1806. Army officer Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) has become obsessed with playing cards, particularly the game of Faro, where the Queen of Spades is considered an unlucky card. On stumbling upon a mysterious book about the secrets of a notorious Count, Herman becomes convinced that the elderly Countess Ranevskaya (Edith Evans) possesses the secret of winning every game. Desperate to learn the secret for himself, Herman devises a plan to gain access to her house by seducing her young Ward, Lizaveta (Yvonne Mitchell). The plan goes awry when Herman accidently startles the Countess, leading to her death.
At the Countess’s funeral, Herman comes to pay his respects, but when he leans over her open coffin, her eyes open and he lets out a howl of fear. From this point, Herman finds himself drawn into a satanic world of madness and mayhem as he is haunted by the Countess and the curse of the Queen of Spades.
With Otto Heller’s (The Ladykillers, Peeping Tom) eerie cinematography and exquisite sound design contributing to the atmosphere created in the film, THE QUEEN OF SPADES is a rarely seen gem and warrants up Scorsese’s claim that it is “One of the few true classics of supernatural cinema’.
The Home entertainment release comes complete with bonus features including an Introduction by Martin Scorsese, a new interview with film critic Anna Bogutskaya as well as a rare filmed interview with Thorold Dickinson discussing the film in detail. THE QUEEN OF SPADES is the newest addition to the ever-expanding Vintage Classics collection.
New Anna Bogutskaya plays The Queen of Spades
New The Nightmare People: Thorold Dickinson on Saturday Night at the Movies
Audio Commentary by Nick Pinkerton
Introduction by Martin Scorsese
Analysis of The Queen of Spades by Philip Horne
Audio interview with Thorold Dickinson (1951)
Audio Interview with Thorold Dickinson (1968)
Behind the Scenes Stills Gallery
Set Design Gallery