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The Gambler (1997)

Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky must write a novel in 27 days in a deal to pay off his gambling debts, and feverishly dictates the novel 'The Gambler'.

Director:

Károly Makk

Writers:

Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel), Katharine Ogden (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Gambon ... Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Jodhi May ... Anna Snitkina
Polly Walker ... Polina
Dominic West ... Alexei
Luise Rainer ... Grandmother
William Houston ... Pasha
Johan Leysen ... De Grieux
John Wood ... The General
Angeline Ball ... Mlle. Blanche
Marjon Brandsma Marjon Brandsma ... Mme. de Cominges
Mark Lacey Mark Lacey ... Ivan
Gijs Scholten van Aschat ... Maikov
Lucy Davis ... Dunya
András Fekete András Fekete ... Potapych
Patrick Godfrey ... Professor Olkhin
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Storyline

Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky must write a novel in 27 days in a deal to pay off his gambling debts, and feverishly dictates the novel 'The Gambler'.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the grip of obsession, reason is suspended.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a strong sex scene and some nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands | Hungary | UK

Language:

English | Hungarian

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Le joueur See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,317, 8 August 1999

Gross USA:

$9,133
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was not the first time director Karoly Makk made successful use of a distinguished elderly actress. In his 1971 "Love" Makk used Lili Darvas, who like Luise Rainer was a star of the Max Reinhardt theater troupe. Also like Rainer, Darvas married a famous playwright, Ferenc Molnar. (Rainer was married for a while to Clifford Odets.) See more »

Goofs

(at around 32 mins) In the story-within-a-story supposedly being written by Dostoevsky in 1866, a woman says, "Would you like to play canasta, General?" Canasta was not invented until 1939, some 58 years after Dostoevsky's death. See more »

Connections

Version of Le joueur (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Luck Be A Lady To Fyodor
29 January 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Someone decided that the story of Fyodor Dostoyevsky writing The Gambler might be a better story than the novella itself. Thus this film The Gambler came into being.

Michael Gambon plays Dostoyevsky who is really under the gun. He should have had a lawyer looking over the contract he signed with a publisher. He had a year to deliver a novel to them and if he didn't everything word he ever would write would belong to that selfsame publisher. Of course our friend Fyodor spent the advance quite liberally on his pleasures and now he's got only a month to deliver a book.

So Gambon takes the unusual step of hiring a live-in stenographer to take down his words played by Jodhi May. She gets to live and observe the Dostoyevsky family their talents and their excesses. From which came the novella The Gambler.

Gambon plays Dostoyevsky as a man like a lot of gifted people, someone whose talents seem to entitle them to excessive behavior. To be sure this also was a man survived Siberian exile and is probably enjoying the fleshpots of Moscow as much as he can.

The Gambler is also the final appearance of recent centenarian Luise Rainer. She plays the live person who became the grandmother in the novella who threw her fortune away at roulette. Unless someone gets the idea to team Luise with upcoming centenarian Gloria Stuart and wouldn't that be an interesting film, I doubt she's doing another. It's worth it to see her give one bravura performance.

Great literature gets born under unusual circumstances. Talk about publish or perish. The Gambler is an interesting piece on the life of its creator Fyodor Doestoyevsky.


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