La dama de la muerte (1946) aka The Lady of Death
Posted by Don Malcolm on 11/22/2018, 1:33 pm, in reply to "La dama de la muerte (1946) aka The Lady of Death"
Actually Chilean, directed by Argentine director Carlos Hugo Christensen. This would go well with THANATOS PALACE HOTEL, the film we just screened as part of THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT 5.
The Lady of Death
Original title: La dama de la muerte
Production: Chile, 1946 (black and white)
Director: Carlos Hugo Christensen.
Cast: Carlos Cores, Judith Sulian, Guillermo Battaglia, Juan Corona, Mafalda Tinelli, Plácido Martín, Italo Martínez, Agustín Orrequia, Agustín Sire, Arturo Gozalvez, Meche Calvo, José Carrera, Mimi Garflas.
77 minutes (PAL)
Roberto Braun, a young man of 24, loses all his money playing roulette in a London bar. He is already standing on a bridge over the Thames and wants to jump when an unknown, bearded man named Clidford stops him and instead convinces him to follow him and join a mysterious "suicide club". In this club with its dodgy president, the death candidates are selected by a card game. Whoever pulls the "Queen of Hearts" (the "Lady of Death") loses! Of course, the cards are not weighed by Roberto, but he prefers to flee instead of succumbing to his fate. But the members of the club appear wherever he goes. When he falls in love with a woman named Ofelia, he has a reason to go on living.
Staged by the Argentine Carlos Hugo Christensen, who shot around 55 films and is considered one of the most prolific and successful pioneers of Latin American cinema, this 1946 Chilean film is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's many screen adaptations three-part short story cycle "The Suicide Club", the film refers mainly to the first and the third of the stories contained there. The film is still to be found today (February 2013) only on winding paths and the print was seen in a poor, restoration-needy condition.
Like "La casa está vacía", another early Chilean mystery thriller (1945, see separate entry), material from "La dama de la muerte" (and the Venezuelan/Argentine film "La balandra Isabel llegó esta tarde "/" The Devil Woman of Santa Margarita "of 1949) in the dubious AmericanHorror strip "Curse of the Stone Hand" (1964; director: Jerry Warren) incorporated. "La dama de la muerte" shares the fate of the two Latin American movies mentioned, barely discoverable, while the Jerry Warren concoction is easily accessible.
There is a YouTube version of this film available, and one on Vimeo as well, which look to be slightly different quality versions of the same television broadcast (probably from Argentina, where there is still some latent interest in director Carlos Hugo Christensen. Neither of these has English subtitles, however, and so I've chosen not to provide links to them.
The specialty video company Creature Features Video, which covers a wide range of historical films from what might most accurately be called the "lurid genres," has a copy of this film for sale: use the link included and scroll down the page for a bit until you see the title. You may find some of CFV's other rare offerings of some interest; their percentage of film noir titles, as you'll discover, is rather limited.