Thorold Dickinson – The High Command (1938)

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Synopsis:
‘A high-ranking general is stationed in West Africa, but when a new doctor arrives at his post he is forced to face his dark past. The doctor is an old acquaintance and holds a deadly secret about the general, a secret that could destroy him forever. That is until the doctor is found murdered and the sinister world of the general begins to unravel.’
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Thorold Dickinson – The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

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IMDb user:
There are several reasons to relish this curio. It was an apprentice work by Thorold Dickinson, the Hitchcock assistant and cutter who would shoot “Gaslight” and “The Queen of Spades” before becoming Britain’s first professor of film. It is one of the earliest sports movies to feature real sportsmen – acting very woodenly, as befits stiff-upper-lip soccer stars. It is anchored by a mischievously eccentric performance by Leslie Banks, who a few years later was to be the magnificent Chorus of Olivier’s “Henry V”. Continue reading

Thorold Dickinson – The Queen of Spades (1949)

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Synopsis:

‘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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