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The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 2 July 1937 (USA)
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.


George Fitzmaurice (as Geo. Fitzmaurice)


Baroness Emmuska Orczy (book) (as Baroness Orczy), Harold Goldman | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Powell ... Baron Stephan Wolensky
Luise Rainer ... Countess Olga Mironova
Robert Young ... Grand Duke Peter
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Maria Orlich
Frank Morgan ... Col. Baron Suroff
Henry Stephenson ... Prince Johann
Bernadene Hayes ... Mitzi Reisenbach
Donald Kirke ... Anton - the Thief
Douglass Dumbrille ... Mr. Korum - a Conspirator (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Charles Waldron Charles Waldron ... Dr. Malchor - a Conspirator
Ian Wolfe ... Leon - a Conspirator (as Ien Wulf)
Barnett Parker ... Albert - Stephan's Butler
Frank Reicher ... Pavloff
Bert Roach ... Hotel Clerk
Paul Porcasi ... Santuzzi


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama that will toy with your heart


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adventure for Three See more »


Box Office


$620,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's initial telecast took place in Philadelphia Saturday 6 April 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by New Haven CT 14 April 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), by Seattle 19 April 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Altoona PA 21 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Portland OR 18 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), by Norfolk VA 16 June 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), and by Miami 21 June 1957 on WCKT (Channel 7); it was first aired in San Francisco 10 March 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), in New York City 25 October 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles 21 June 1959 on KTTV (Channel 11), and, finally, in Chicago 26 August 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2). See more »


When the Baron is in bed reading the letter and getting details from Mr. Korum, the amount of brandy in his glass diminishes significantly inexplicably without him drinking it. See more »


Edited from Die Leuchter des Kaisers (1936) See more »


Two Guitars
Old Gypsy folk song
See more »

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User Reviews

Forget about the plot and enjoy the stars
30 July 2003 | by som1950See all my reviews

The plot of "The Emperor's Candlesticks" is total nonsense in the 1930s Hollywood fantasies about benevolent despots, courteous kidnappers, and gallant spies. The story is only an excuse for a masquerade ball and a dash across Europe in pursuit of two candelabras that do not belong to the Russian czar or the Austro-Hungarian emperor, but are a gift from an Austrian nobleman to a Russian noblewomen. The carriers (the Polish Baron Wolensky and the Russian Countess Mironova, played by the stars, William Powell and Luise Rainer) lose and find and mistakenly switch the pair of candelabras.

Powell was unflappable in the midst of many ludicrous plots during the 1930s, often with Myrna Loy as a co-conspirator. Here, he is pitted against a lovely czarist secret agent, played, in a large wardrobe, by the great Luise Rainer. In the two immediately preceding films for which she won back-to-back Oscars ("The Great Ziegfeld" with Powell and "The Good Earth" with Paul Muni) and in her only other readily available film, "The Great Waltz," she suffered mightily. In "Candlesticks" she got a chance to play the kind of glamorous clothes horse role in which Marlene Dietrich specialized, with no occasion for jealousy at all. Dietrich and Greta Garbo both played spies in 1930s movies. Each appeared more sophisticated than Rainer's, but I find Rainer more credible as a spy with regrets about the consequences of her occupation than either Dietrich or Garbo. Rainer was also quite beautiful with high cheekbones and eyebrows as plucked as Dietrich, and received star keylighting from MGM.

Back in a gilded cage, Robert Young got a chance to be charming and gallant, impeded by the humorous bumbling minder played by Frank Morgan.

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