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King, Queen, Knave

Polski director Jerzy Skolimowski, working in Germany, brings off an intermittently funny black comedy on first love, avariciousness and, underneath, a subversive look at economic booms and human relations in the upper classes.

Polski director Jerzy Skolimowski, working in Germany, brings off an intermittently funny black comedy on first love, avariciousness and, underneath, a subversive look at economic booms and human relations in the upper classes.

Based on Vladimir Nabokov’s pithy novel, its obvious tricky word play, ironic nostalgia and interplay of love, are hard to duplicate on film. Skolimowski wisely concentrates on making it as visual as possible. It does not work, for the characters are not well blocked out and the humor is oblique, but present enough for some yoks.

A gauche young orphan is invited, by an uncle he has never seen, to Germany. The blundering boy likes his easygoing uncle, David Niven, but is smitten by his sexy aunt Gina Lollobrigida who first decides to seduce the boy and then have him kill her husband to inherit the fortune.

King, Queen, Knave

W. Germany - US

  • Production: Maran/Wolper. Director Jerzy Skolimowski; Producer Lutz Hengst; Screenplay David Seltzer, David Shaw; Camera Charly Steinberger; Editor Mel Shapiro; Music Stanley Myers; Art Director Rolf Zehetbauer
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 92 MIN.
  • With: David Niven Gina Lollobrigida John Moulder Brown Mario Adorf Carl Fox-Duering Christopher Sandford
  • Music By: