Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937)

Title: The Emperor's Candlesticks

Release Date (US): July 2, 1937

Runtime: 89 min.

Production Co: MGM

Director: George Fitzmaurice (one of his last films)
Producer: John W. Considine Jr.
Story: Based on a book of the same name by Baroness Emmauska Orczy c. 1899 (known for writing The Scarlet Pimpernel)

Costumes: Adrian

Music: Franz Waxman


William Powell
Luise Rainer
Robert Young
Maureen O'Sullivan
Frank Morgan

Summary: The son of the Russian Czar, the Grand Duke Peter (Young), is kidnapped while at a costume ball in Vienna, along with his aide (Morgan). The girl who lured him away (Sullivan) wants him to write to the Czar and tell him to free her father, a Polish patriot. Powell is chosen to deliver the letter, which is hidden in a compartment in a pair of fancy candlesticks. Rainer, a Russian agent, is also delivering a candlestick, one that contains  warrant for Powell's arrest. The candlesticks are switched, leading to a merry chase all the way to Russia as each tries to retrieve their candlestick. When both candlesticks are stolen, they must work together to get them back. During the process they fall in love, even though they must continue to outwit each other to fulfill their duty to their respective countries.

Young and Morgan

Young and Sullivan

Staying at the same hotel

Discovering the mix-up

The candlestick is delivered

Your Highness, we are free.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this movie. You knew how it was going to end but it was fun to watch them keep running into each other and getting so close to getting the correct candlestick back only to lose it again. The secret compartment in the candlesticks was really cool. A typical William Powell movie.

The only clip on YouTube. However, TCM has several clips plus the original trailer.
You may also like: Remembering Luise Rainer (with two other Powell movies!)
This post is my entry to the Russia in Classic Film Blogathon, hosted by Movies Silently.

All images found via Pinterest.

Other sources used: TCM, Wikipedia, IMDb


  1. Thanks so much for taking part! Sounds like a fun little caper. :-)

    1. Thanks for hosting! I had fun writing it. I wish I could have re-watched it but I watched it on TCM the first time.

  2. This sounds like a terrific film – you can't go wrong with William Powell!

    I also like the look of the film (especially the costumes), based on the images you've posted. I'm hoping to see this one someday. Thanks! :)

    1. William Powell is one of my favorite actors. I've watched almost all (40 to be exact) of his "talkies" over the course of last year - only 18 more to go! This was a fun adventure film; it really held my interest.

      I posted all the images I could find! I wish I owned it on dvd so I could have used some screen shots! Some time this year I will probably have a William Powell month or a Powell/Loy month.

      Thanks for reading! I really enjoy your blog :)

  3. This sounds like a good one. I have learned about so many wonderful films from this blogathon thanks to postings like yours. Thanks for sharing with all of us.