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Queen of Spades Review


Excellent
Based on a short story by Pushkin, this drama has echoes of Wilde and Dickens in its tale of supernatural temptation in 19th century St Petersburg. It's also been given a lush digital restoration to show off the stunning direction and cinematography.

Herman (Walbrook) is a German captain in the Russian army who is frustrated when he loses his entire year's salary in a card game. So when he hears the legend that an ageing local countess (Evans) traded her soul for the secret for winning at cards, he plots to learn the trick. To get into her house, he woos her ward Liza (Mitchell), who is also the object of affection for another officer (Howard). And when Herman confronts the countess, her reaction is seriously haunting, in every sense of the word.

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The Browning Version (1951) Review


Excellent
We all hated our grade school teachers -- at least one of them. Here's a movie that shows the flipside of that anger, showcasing Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave in the role of a lifetime) on his last, pathetic day as a teacher at a sleepy school for privileged boys.

Crocker-Harris teaches the terribly unpopular dead languages course to younger children who, almost unilaterally, don't appreciate the subject matter. Not only is Crocker-Harris moving for "health reasons," his cruel wife (Jean Kent) is having an affair with a younger professor (Nigel Patrick). And the kids hate him, calling him "Himmler" behind his back.

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Come September Review


OK
Is there irony in Rock Hudson zipping about on a scooter in an attempt to protect the virtue of a gaggle of American girls being pursued by four horny guys? (Of note: Sandra Dee is one of the girls, and Bobby Darin is one of the guys, and this is where they met.) The convoluted romantic comedy has Hudson as a wealthy American who spends his Septembers at his plush Italian villa. He arrives early this year, only to find his business partner has turned the place into a hotel from October to August. A romance (with the lovely Gina Lollobrigida) ensues, and the younger kids prove they can find a little love in the sun amongst all the good times. Silly and unfulfilling, it's nonetheless a reasonably good time.

The Browning Version Review


Excellent
We all hated our grade school teachers -- at least one of them. Here's a movie that shows the flipside of that anger, showcasing Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave in the role of a lifetime) on his last, pathetic day as a teacher at a sleepy school for privileged boys.

Crocker-Harris teaches the terribly unpopular dead languages course to younger children who, almost unilaterally, don't appreciate the subject matter. Not only is Crocker-Harris moving for "health reasons," his cruel wife (Jean Kent) is having an affair with a younger professor (Nigel Patrick). And the kids hate him, calling him "Himmler" behind his back.

Continue reading: The Browning Version Review

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