Screening of the film: The Great Sinner

Robert Siodmak Introduced byRanieri Polese

Screening of the film: The Great Sinner

may fri 27, 2016 - 22.30
teatro Bolognini - Via del Presto, 5
 admission euro 3.00

The Great Sinner is a 1949 film directed by Robert Siodmak, inspired by one of the masterpieces from the end of the 19th century, Dostoevsky’s novel The Gambler. The film follows the life of a young writer, Fjodor (Gregory Peck), who becomes a compulsive gambler. While travelling he meets a beautiful girl (Ava Gardner) and decides to follow her to Weisbaden. At the casino, he discovers she is a passionate gambler, daughter of a general who is also an unrepentant gambler. The girl’s father loses everything at the roulette wheel and is willing to offer the casino manager his daughter’s hand in marriage to cancel his debts. Fjodor, now in love with the girl, offers to help and starts gambling himself, until he becomes slave to addiction. An auteur-style film that skilfully analyses the mechanisms of the vice of gambling (with incredible suspense in the roulette scene), interwoven with a remarkable love story.

Robert Siodmak (1900-1973), a German director, debuted in 1929 with People on Sunday co-written by a young Billy Wilder. After the advent of Nazism, he worked first in Paris and then in Hollywood, where he directed Phantom Lady (1944), and his masterpiece The Spiral Staircase (1945), a film noir par excellence, combining elements of thriller and horror. His other films include Cry of the City (1948), Criss Cross (1949), I topi (1955) and The Crimson Pirate (1952).

Ranieri Polese is a journalist and literary critic for the newspaper Corriere della Sera, and is editor of its culture section. He has written for the papers La Nazione and L’Europeo. He is a member of Italy’s National Union of Film Critics (SNGCI) and is on the selection committee for the Venice Film Festival. His publications include Il film della mia vita (Rizzoli, 1995) and the preface to Le mie canzoni by Vasco Rossi (Mondadori). He curated l’Almanacco Guanda.