5.8/10
207
14 user 3 critic

Grand Slam (1933)

Because the Stanislavsky method of playing bridge has no rules, it promotes marital harmony for those who stick with it.

Directors:

William Dieterle, Alfred E. Green (uncredited)

Writers:

Erwin S. Gelsey (screenplay) (as Erwin Gelsey), David Boehm (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Ronny Bowers, a saxophonist in Benny Goodman's band has won a talent contest an got a ten week contract with a film studio. On his first evening he is supposed to go with the studio's star ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Lola Lane
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Texan debutante Valentine Ransome tries to reform a bankrupt playboy.

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Herbert Marshall, Glenda Farrell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Three couples raise a ruckus when they travel to Nevada for quickie divorces.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Guy Kibbee, Glenda Farrell, Donald Woods
Girl Missing (1933)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two sassy gold-diggers stranded in Palm Beach become involved in the case of a fellow chorine who goes missing on her wedding night.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Glenda Farrell, Ben Lyon, Mary Brian
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Bette Davis, Lewis Stone, Pat O'Brien
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A con man must pass himself off as the owner of a château on the French Riviera when he is expected to host his estranged daughter's wedding.

Director: Wilhelm Thiele
Stars: Frank Morgan, Florence Rice, John Beal
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two telephone repairmen have many adventures and romance a pair of blondes.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Joan Blondell, Pat O'Brien, Allen Jenkins
Havana Widows (1933)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two golddiggers go fishing for millionaires in Havana.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell, Guy Kibbee
In Caliente (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Magazine editor Pat O'Brien givesMexican dancer Dolores Del Rio a bad write-up, and then becomes romantically involved. Lots of songs and Busby Berkeley numbers.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Dolores del Rio, Pat O'Brien, Leo Carrillo
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An escapee from an asylum takes refuge in a woman's house; but she has dark secrets of her own.

Director: George Englund
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Stuart Whitman, Edward Mulhare
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee
Roughshod (1949)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Wrangler Clay Phillips and his younger brother Steve are taking horses to their ranch near Sonora when they come across four dance hall girls heading the same way with a wrecked buggy. One ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Robert Sterling, Gloria Grahame, Claude Jarman Jr.
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Lukas ... Peter Stanislavsky
Loretta Young ... Marcia Stanislavsky
Frank McHugh ... Philip 'Speed' McCann
Glenda Farrell ... Blondie
Helen Vinson ... Lola Starr
Roscoe Karns ... Contest Radio Announcer
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Cedric Van Dorn
Edit

Storyline

After waiter and would-be novelist Peter Stanislavsky marries Marcia, he learns to play bridge to satisfy his wife, despite feeling that it is a childish game. Her friends all play the game avidly, but argue often about the proper play. He's called one evening to serve as a waiter at a bridge party given by Lola Starr, but is asked to be a fourth for one of the bridge tables, where eminent bridge expert Cedric Van Dorn is seated. Peter trounces the expert, and when asked what method he uses to play, he jokingly says the "Stanislavsky method," which has no rules of bidding or play. It makes headlines; Speed McCann ghostwrites a best-selling book for him; a national tour is set up with Marcia as his partner; and his method sweeps the country. But slowly Peter begins to question Marcia's play, leading to arguments because it is a violation of the only rule in his system. And when he gives private lessons to Lola, Marcia leaves him thinking there is something between them. With his ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

18 March 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il giocatore See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$164,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Marcia Stanislavsky: How have you been?
Philip 'Speed' McCann: Okay. I've been working pretty hard. I just finished writing a book called Sex and What Causes It. It's for Bernard McGovern. I got five grand out of it.
Marcia Stanislavsky: Five grand!
Philip 'Speed' McCann: For only two weeks work. How have you been?
Marcia Stanislavsky: Oh, boy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits begin with bridge being played in the background. Then, close ups of cards are shown with a picture of one of the actor, his name, and the role he plays in the movie. See more »

Soundtracks

Otchi Tchornya
(uncredited)
Traditional Russian ballad
Played on the piano by Peter at the restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Outrageous low score! For bridge fans AND lovers of satire!
30 June 2015 | by jacksflicksSee all my reviews

The current score for grand slam is astounding for a little movie so well-directed, well-acted and so truly funny.

For those who know bridge and satire, there are some laugh-out-loud moments, particularly the vignettes of husbands and wives fighting across the tables. In fact, Stanislavsky's bridge "system" is all about keeping couples together by doing away with the rules entirely. Of course, this is a goof on the other Stanislavsky's "method" acting, which is not to act at all.

The scenes where the stuffed-shirt bridge establishment meets Stanislavsky are priceless. They just can't imagine how anybody, much less a common waiter, can make an opening bid of 7 spades, much less win. And there's the cleft between bridge players and pinochle players, who consider bridge players sissies.

A younger Paul Lukas is charming as Stanislavsky, a Russian emigré who is not an aristocrat, not a general, but rather "a genius". His wife, the key to his fame, is Loretta Young at her loveliest. They and a great supporting cast are handled, and the scenes expertly paced, by A-list director William Dieterle.

The crucial match is fought as if it were a heavyweight title fight, complete with breathless play-by-play, complete with climactic moment where the whole world stops -- literally! Of course, all of this is over-the-top, and all of it works, if you get the bridge craze that had swept America for the first half of the 20th century to ridiculous extremes.

In fact, it's still going on. Did you know that the 2008 financial meltdown and recession we're still feeling can arguably be put to bridge? One of the key players in the meltdown was investment bank Bear Stearns. There was a run on this bank, while its CEO was out of the loop...playing bridge.

Grand Slam is a good-natured dig at pop fame and enthusiasms. As Stanislavsky said to the microphone as he was being carried of the field of play, "Hello, Ma!"

In fact, the more I think of how delightful this comedy of manners is, the more frustrated I am by the score. This movie deserves at least a 7. I give it an 8.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed