Thorold Dickinson – The Queen of Spades (1949)

 Thorold Dickinson   The Queen of Spades (1949)

thgc Thorold Dickinson   The Queen of Spades (1949)


’1806 Saint-Peterburg: Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) approaches middle-age as a bitterly disappointed man. Outranked by young bucks in more fashionable regiments – men from aristocratic families who can afford to waste money on gambling, drinking and wenching – he envies the meritocratic rise of Napoleon. When he learns that old Countess Ranevskaya (Edith Evans) – the grandmother of one of the officers he envies – allegedly sold her soul to the Devil in exchange for learning an infallible way of winning at Faro, he sees a chance of advancement. But how can he, a mere Captain of Engineers, and a commoner, get access to the old lady’s household to learn her secret? The Countess has a pretty, downtrodden young companion Lizaveta (Yvonne Mitchell) – sure to be easily beguiled by his attentions…
However, Andrei (Ronald Howard), an aristocratic officer and friend of the Countess’s grandson, begins to see through Herman’s schemes. Can Liza be saved from seduction? And can Herman himself escape the curse of the cards?’
- silverwhistle (IMDb)
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Maya Deren – Witch’s Cradle (1944)

mayaderenwitchscradle19 Maya Deren   Witchs Cradle (1944)

thgc Maya Deren   Witchs Cradle (1944)

Witches’ Cradles

In Search of an Altered State
“During the witchcraft persecutions in Europe, Inquisitors are said to have sometimes put an accused witch in a bag, which was strung up over the limb of a tree and set swinging. When witches’ learnt about this punishment they experimented with it themselves and found that the sensory deprivation or confusion of senses induced hallucinatory experiences. A similar swinging motion has long been used by shamans and dervishes and is sometimes known as ‘dervish-dangling’.”

- Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology
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Ivan Pyryev – Svinarka i pastukh AKA They Met in Moscow (1941)

 Ivan Pyryev   Svinarka i pastukh AKA They Met in Moscow (1941)

thgc Ivan Pyryev   Svinarka i pastukh AKA They Met in Moscow (1941)

Musical comedy. Herding pigs girl Glasha of the Russian countryside and the shepherd Musaib of Dagestani aul came to Moscow at the agricultural exhibition, meet there and fall in love at first sight. They will leave for a long time, and partial to Glasha fellow villager does not want to so just give the girl a distant opponent. Continue reading

Henry Koster – Harvey (1950)

n0oe Henry Koster   Harvey (1950)

thgc Henry Koster   Harvey (1950)


This whimsical fantasy about a local drunk’s 6′ 3 1/2″ imaginary rabbit pal was a smash hit (and a Pulitzer Prize winner) on Broadway and was then adapted into this likeable farce that’s also an allegory about tolerance. James Stewart stars as Elwood P. Dowd, a wealthy tippler whose sunny philosophy and inebriated antics are tolerated by most of the citizenry. That is, until Elwood begins claiming that he sees a “pooka” (a mischievous Irish spirit), which has taken the form of a man-sized bunny named Harvey. Although everyone is certain that Elwood has finally lost his mind, Harvey’s presence begins to have magically positive effects on the townsfolk, with the exception of Elwood’s own sister Veta (Josephine Hull), who, ironically, can also occasionally see Harvey. A snooty socialite, Veta is determined to marry off her daughter, Myrtle (Victoria Horne), to somebody equally respectable, and Elwood’s lunacy is interfering. When Veta attempts to have Elwood committed to an insane asylum, however, the result is that she is accidentally admitted instead of her brother. Then the institution’s director, Dr. Chumley (Cecil Kellaway), begins seeing Harvey, too. Hull, who reprised her part from the stage production, won an Oscar and a Golden Karl Williams Continue reading

Nicole Védrès – Paris 1900 [English version] (1947)

vlcsnap16730921 Nicole Védrès – Paris 1900 [English version] (1947)

thgc Nicole Védrès – Paris 1900 [English version] (1947)

One of the most important documentary films made in France, Paris 1900 vividly conveys the mood of a world in transition, from the exuberance of the belle époque to the shattering folly of world war. Although much of material in the film is trivial (tastes in fashion, the pastimes of the wealthy elite, and such like), it contains many historically important images. Most memorable is the rare footage of such figures as artist Claude Monet, writer Edmond Rostand (author of Cyrano de Bergerac), filmmaker Ferdinand Zecca, not to mention a sequence where a young Maurice Chevalier gives his impression of cabaret performer Félix Mayol, in the company of Mistinguet. Continue reading

pixel Nicole Védrès – Paris 1900 [English version] (1947)