As this woman, Pauline Ostrovsky, later explains to the writer Fedya, she felt mystically bound to him throughout their silent shared journey because, for the first time in her life of playing cards, with him at her side, the right cards suddenly began falling invariably into place. She has gone to Wiesbaden to join her father General Ostrovsky (Walter Huston), who, like her, is addicted to gambling - a weakness that Fedya finds so morally reprehensible that he decides to reject the woman, while remaining in Wiesbaden to write a new book about the psychology of such lost souls. Despite his resolve, weakness begets weakness and Fedya soon enough falls in love with Pauline. When he discovers that the Ostrovskys have in effect sold themselves into eternal bondage to casino manager Armand de Glasse (Melvyn Douglas), in the form of two promissary notes amounting to some $200,000 and Pauline's hand in arranged marriage, Fedya determines to free them both by staking his own fortune on the gaming tables. It would not ruin the story to reveal that - in a thrilling sequence - he is both highly successful in his dare, and ruinously contaminated by his success.
|Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck with director Robert Siodmak.|
|Peck puts his entire life on the line to win his beloved's freedom from casino baron Melvyn Douglas.|
|Frank Morgan and Gregory Peck in the film's eeriest sequence.|
If you've never seen THE GREAT SINNER, what are you waiting for?
It's a good bet.