Sirk’s follow-up to Hitler’s Madman (and his second feature made in the U.S.) adapts Anton Chekhov’s novel The Shooting Party (with a script by Rowland Leigh), in which a cunning but illiterate peasant woman (Linda Darnell in a seductive, manipulative role that would redefine her virtuous starlet persona) pulls cynical imperial magistrate Fedor Petroff (George Sanders) away from his fiancée, with dire results. Produced by fellow German exile Seymour Nebenzal (who also produced Fritz Lang’s M and Joseph Losey’s remake 20 years later), this despairing social drama finds Sirk’s efficient storytelling and delicate, nuanced direction of actors on full display, presaging the wrought melodramas to come.