It’s really great when a novel can be successfully transferred to the big screen. The case of the film: ΄΄Queen of Spades΄΄ or ΄΄ Пиковая дама΄΄, as is the title of Alexander Pushkin’s novella, proves it the best
The hero, Hermann, an ethnic German, officer of the engineers in the Imperial Russian Army, runs an unhappy life. He reveals his transcendent character when deciding to learn the secret of Countess Anna Fedotovna. Hermann sends love letters to Lizavyeta Ivanovna, a young ward of the Countess, and persuades her to let him into the house. He threatens the old lady to reveal to him the three cards with which he can get mythical amounts of money. The terrified Fedotovna dies in front of his eyes. Later her ghost appears in front of him, naming him the three cards: Three, Seven, Ace. But is this a true or an illusion resulting of the great need to get rich?
Hermann, overwhelmed by his obsession and greed, bets all his savings on card Three. On the first day, he manages to doubling his money. On the second day he bets the whole amount on card Seven and doubles his money again. On the third day he puts everything in the Ace while waiting to get a mythical amount.
Ace is actually shown, but it is revealed that Hermann has bet on card Queen of Spades instead of Ace, resulting in losing everything. The odd element of romance that Pushkin introduces here is that the figure of Queen of Spades seems to wink at Hermann. At the same time, he is astonished by her remarkable resemblance to the old countess, and flees in terror.
For those who want to enjoy the sense of Tsarist Russia in an authentic transfer of mentality, I recommend the silent film:
The Queen of Spades (1916 film) by Yakov Protazanov
For those who want to enjoy an excellent British version I recommend the black and white film:
The Queen of Spades (1949 film) by Thorold Dickinson (?)