Pikovaya Dama (1916)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Psychological Drama  |   Countries - Russia  |  
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The second of a series of Russian films picked up for distribution by Pathe is adapted from the story by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin. When he hears that the Countess Fedotovna has a secret formula to win at cards, Russian army officer Herman (Ivan Mozzhukhin) is determined to get it. He tries to meet her through her niece, but when he finally comes face to face with the old woman, his forceful tactics make her die of shock. She comes to him in a dream, however, and tells him which cards of the formula, warning him to play only twice. After he wins the first two times, though, he can't resist going for number three and betting all. But when he turns over the card he has chosen, instead of the ace he expects, it is the queen of spades -- with the countess' face. As a result, Herman goes insane and winds up in a madhouse (going mad seemed to be a common theme in Russian cinema at the time -- see also The Painted Doll).

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Keywords

aristocrat, army-officer, cards, face, gambling, niece, Russian [nationality]