A male Polish secret agent and a female Russian secret-police spy smuggle messages to St. Petersburg in candlesticks. While chasing after stolen candlesticks they discover each other's ...
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A male Polish secret agent and a female Russian secret-police spy smuggle messages to St. Petersburg in candlesticks. While chasing after stolen candlesticks they discover each other's identity and fall in love. Written by
Bill Smith <email@example.com>
Back in the '30s, the studios made dozens of movies that were set in Europe to give Americans during the Depression a sense of fantasy and other world glamor, and to keep their foreign market. "The Emperor's Candlesticks" starring William Powell and Luise Rainer is such a film, with supporting roles featuring two young stars, Robert Young and Maureen O'Sullivan. Powell and Rainer are opposing foreign agents who each hide their documents in a pair of candlesticks to be brought to Russia as a gift to a noblewoman. The candlesticks were to be delivered by Powell, but Rainer talks the Austrian who has given him the task to let her do it. They are stolen by her maid and her boyfriend, and both Powell and Rainer try to be the first to recover them.
Powell and Rainer are delightful in this crazy story. Rainer, with her small face and enormous eyes, is gorgeous, playing the part of a spy with charm. Powell is always good and plays off Rainer very well. Robert Young and Maureen O'Sullivan portray a prince and his kidnapper's accomplice, respectively, who meet at a masquerade ball, he dressed as Romeo and she as Juliet. Their last scene together is very sweet.
This movie is odd for one reason. The stars all lived for a very long time, and in fact, Rainer at this writing is still alive at the age of 96. Young lived to 91, O'Sullivan to 87, Powell to 91. Must have been something in the water on the set. Wish it had been present on more films!
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