(out of 5)
Lush, humorous adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s short story, about a young man who hears his friend tell a story around the gambling table about his clever grandmother. As a young woman years before, this crafty lady learned a card trick that erased a huge gambling debt she had incurred and our hero, obsessed with finding out her secret, courts the old woman’s ward Lizaveta in the hopes of discovering it. The results of his desperate actions end up putting a slyly funny human comedy into action with devastating results. Good acting for a silent film, not overly mannered or plastic, plus sturdy direction by Yakov Protazanov, beautiful photography and gorgeous costumes make for a real gem.
Directed by Yakov Protazanov
Cinematography by Yevgeni Slavinsky
Produced by Joseph N. Ermolieff
Music by Rafal Rozmus
Production Design by Vladimir Ballyuzek