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Meeting Luise Rainer

By , 14 January, 2010, No Comment

I stayed up late Tuesday night, celebrating Luise Rainer‘s 100th birthday with TCM. This was my introduction to Rainer — and even though the three films I watched are neither her best known films nor those she won her two (back-to-back) Oscars for, I was smitten.

Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer

The first movie I watched was The Emperor’s Candlesticks (1937), which, frankly, is often dismissed as more eye-candy than substantive film. It’s easy to do, what with such opulent settings for two wealthy spies each on opposite ends of political intrigues who manage to fall for each other. But if you listen as well as watch, there’s a sophistication and elegance to the acting too. Especially the banter between Rainer and William Powell.

William Powell & Luise Rainer in Emperor's Candlesticks

William Powell & Luise Rainer in Emperor's Candlesticks

Enjoy the lush settings, but don’t forget to focus on the faces and the dialog — if you do pay attention, it’s rather like the delight of employing the secret compartments in the antique candlesticks.

Vintage Magazine Article On The Emperor's Candlesticks

Vintage Magazine Article On The Emperor's Candlesticks

It’s not my favorite of the three Rainer films I watched, but it was good enough for me to want to watch another…

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