By Candlelight (1934)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Sophisticated Comedy  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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After directing three of Universal's finest horror films, James Whale shifted gears with the elegant romantic comedy By Candlelight. Though quite miscast, Paul Lukas successfully conveys the role of Josef, ultra-dutiful valet to the libidinous Count Von Bommer (Nils Asther). Falling in love with Marie (Elissa Landi), whom he assumes to be a countess, Josef poses -- quite convincingly -- as his rakish master. The catch: Marie is herself a poseur, a mere maidservant to Count and Countess Von Rischenheim (Lawrence Grant, Dorothy Revier). Based on a play by Siegfried Geyer, By Candlelight is chock full of delightfully double-entendre pre-Code dialogue and dextrous directorial touches.

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Keywords

romance, aristocracy, butler, class [social], double-cross, expose [revelation], forbidden-love, identity, impersonation, killing, love, lower-class, maid, master [expert], nobility, opal, philandering, politician, predicament, robbery, scoundrel, valet [servant]